The 2011 college football season famously gave us an all-SEC national championship game, the rematch between LSU and Alabama. The team “left out” of the national championship game was Oklahoma State. In a recent feature by ESPN college football writer Chris Low, Gundy reflected on OSU being left out. He believes his Cowboys would have topped Les Miles’ Tigers head-to-head on a neutral field.

“We would have played LSU and won,” Gundy told Low. “They were an overload-the-box, man-to-man team on defense, and you could not play our team in man that year. We were too good. That still bothers me, that we didn’t get a shot. And if the system was set up like it is now, we would have been in the playoff. I guess those things don’t drive me as much. I love for our kids to have success, don’t get me wrong. But I don’t dwell on it like I used to.”

Gundy’s team was ranked No. 2 with a 10-0 record heading into a Nov. 18 game at Iowa State. The Cowboys fell 37-31 in double overtime. In the BCS system, the loss to an unranked team led to OSU falling below Alabama. Gundy’s Cowboys finished the 2011 season 12-1, ranked No. 3. The Alabama-LSU rematch is widely cited as being the game that broke the BCS and led to the creation of the College Football Playoff.

The Big 12 did not have a conference championship game in the 2011 season (stopped after 2010, resumed in 2017). The post-conference championship weekend BCS standings from 2011 had LSU No. 1 (13-0), Alabama No. 2 (11-1), Oklahoma State No. 3 (11-1) and Stanford No. 4 (11-1). OSU beat Stanford 41-38 in overtime in the Fiesta Bowl.