NCAAF Oklahoma State Cowboys

General Information

  • Conference: Big 12 Conference (1996–present)
  • NCAA Division: Bowl Subdivision (FBS)
  • City: Stillwater, California
  • Stadium: Boone T Pickens Stadium


  • Championships: 12
  • National Championships: One (1945)
  • Conference Titles: 10 (1926, 1930, 1932, 1944, 1945, 1948, 1953, 1976, 2011)
  • Divisional Championships: One (2010)

Past Conferences:

  • Independent (1901–1914, 1957–1959)
  • Southwest Conference (1915–1924),
  • Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association (1925–1927),
  • Missouri Valley Conference (1928–1956),
  • Big Eight Conference (1960–1995)

Oklahoma State Cowboys Standings & Analysis

Check out all the information related to team stats.

All-Time Oklahoma State Cowboys Standings & Records

Passing yards

  •  Mason Rudolph: 13,618
  • Brandon Weeden: 9,260
  • Spencer Sanders: 8,941
  • Zac Robinson: 8,317
  • Mike Gundy: 7,997

Rushing yards

  • Thurman Thomas: 4,847
  • Terry Miller: 4,754
  • David Thompson: 4,318
  • Kendall Hunter: 4,181
  • Ernest Anderson: 3,672

Receiving yards

  • James Washington: 4,472
  • Rashaun Woods: 4,414
  • Justin Blackmon: 3,564
  • Tylan Wallace: 3,434
  • Hart Lee Dykes: 3,275

Oklahoma State Cowboys Football History

The Oklahoma State Cowboys are a Division 1 FBS Football team based in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Initially founded in 1901 as the Oklahoma A&M Aggies, Oklahoma State has an overall record of 628–563–49.


Oklahoma State began playing football right at the turn of the 20th Century, and in 1915 became members of the Southwest Conference, where they played for ten seasons before leaving to join the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

When this conference broke apart in 1928, the Cowboys joined the smaller Missouri Valley Conference instead of the larger Big Six conference formed at the same time. In 1944, Oklahoma A&M began a two-year run of success, starting with a record of eight wins and one loss and going undefeated a season later at 9-0, en route to a National Championship.

That title wasn’t officially credited to the program until 2016 when the American Football Coaches Association made that decision. After two decades of less than stellar performances, the school renamed itself Oklahoma State University, and it joined the Big Eight conference in 1958 -which had finally expanded- three decades after its initial formation from the ashes of the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

The program continued to decline over the next several seasons and would eventually turn things around under head coach Jim Stanley. The Cowboys went 35-31-2 in five seasons under Stanley, including bowl game victories in 1974 and 1976; the latter season saw the program clinch a co-championship in the Big Eight Conference along with rivals University of Oklahoma and Colorado University.

The growth of the program continued in 1979 when coach Jimmy Johnson took over the team. The Cowboys held their own in the tough conference and led the program to an 8-4 record and a ranking as high as #3 in the Associated Press polls in 1983.

Johnson would leave after their 24-14 win over Baylor University in the Astro-Bluebonnet Bowl to take the head coaching job at the University of Miami-Florida, famously leading that program to critical acclaim nationally.

NCAA Violations Under Johnson

Head Coach Pat Jones continued to build the program with a strong rushing attack and brought in two of the greatest running backs -not only in College Football history but also in National Football League history- Barry Sanders and Thurman Thomas, both players making the Hall of Fame at each level.

Oklahoma State rattled off 44 wins and 15 losses over five seasons. However, due to NCAA violations that occurred during Johnson’s tenure, the Cowboys lost scholarships, and the rights to games being televised, and were banished from bowl games for three years.

Oklahoma State has pieced together some solid seasons over the last three decades, but they’ve fallen short of chances to reach National Championship success several times. In 32 bowl game appearances,

Oklahoma State has gone 21-11 overall. Their biggest win, a 41-38 overtime victory over Stanford in the 2011 Fiesta Bowl, earned the Cowboys a final Associated Press poll ranking of third, the program’s highest distinction since the poll was created in 1936.


Check out all the updated Oklahoma State Cowboys team stats, future odds, recent news and betting tips and more, here at Point Spreads.

What is the highest win total in Oklahoma State Cowboys program history?

The 2021 Oklahoma State Cowboys set a program record, winning 12 games and losing only twice during the season. Under long-time head coach Mike Gundy, the Cowboys were ranked as high as fifth in the Associated Press weekly Top 25 polls and if not for a close mid-season loss to the Iowa State Cyclones in late October, Oklahoma State would have had a shot at making the final four of the College Football Playoff. They would lose to Baylor 21-16 in the Big Twelve Championship Game and wrap up the season with a 37-35 victory over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the Fiesta Bowl down in Glendale, Arizona.

What was the worst season in Oklahoma State Cowboys program history?

The 1991 Oklahoma State Cowboys are the only team in program history to post a winless season. Just three seasons removed from their magical 10-2 year in 1988, the Cowboys lost ten games with one tie under head coach Pat Jones. The Cowboys averaged just 9.6 points per game, good for second-worst in the nation that year. Oklahoma State was held to fewer than double-digits in points in seven of their eleven contests.  

Who is the greatest player in Oklahoma State Cowboys program history?

Running Back Barry Sanders is widely revered as one of the greatest rushers in the history of football, and his legend started in Stillwater, playing three seasons for the Oklahoma State Cowboys from 1986 to 1988. Originally playing as a punt and kick returner, Sanders was second on the depth chart behind another future National Football League star Thurman Thomas. Once Thomas went to the NFL Draft in 1988, Sanders flourished, breaking over two dozen records, rushing for 2,850 yards and 44 touchdowns that season to win the Heisman Trophy, an award he had to accept via Satellite because the Cowboys were over in Japan preparing for the Coca-Cola Classic game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Sanders would finish his collegiate career with 5,188 all-purpose yards in three seasons and be selected third overall in the first round of the 1989 National Football League Draft by the Detroit Lions, who last took a Heisman Trophy-winning Running Back in the first round just nine seasons prior in Billy Sims from the University of Oklahoma. Sanders wore the same #20 for ten seasons with the Lions, winning the NFL Most Valuable Player award in 1994 and Offensive Player of The Year honors in both 1994 and 1997, leading the league in rushing in four different seasons and never rushing for less than 1,100 yards in a season for his career. His total of 15,269 rushing yards places him third in the All-Time NFL Rushing Yards category, behind Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton. Sanders retired in 1999 and in 2003, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. A year later, Canton, Ohio came calling as he became the second youngest inductee behind Gale Sayers to be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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