GLENDALE, Ariz. - Oklahoma State has its chance to be in the national-championship conversation.
All the Cowboys need now is a little help from Alabama.
Surviving a missed field goal at the end of regulation and getting a big kick of its own in overtime, No. 3 Oklahoma State opened the door for the chance at a split national championship with a wildly entertaining 41-38 win over No. 4 Stanford Monday night.
“There is nothing we can do from here,’’ said Oklahoma State receiver Justin Blackmon, who tied the Fiesta Bowl record with three touchdown catches. “I do think we do have the best team in the nation.’’
Oklahoma State (12-1) kept pace with Andrew Luck and the high-scoring Cardinal, getting huge performances from its two stars, Brandon Weeden and Blackmon, in their final college game. Weeden threw for 399 yards and the three touchdowns to Blackmon, who announced he’s leaving for the NFL after catching eight passes for 186 yards.
All that and the Cowboys’ fortunes came down to two legs, those of Stanford kicker Jordan Williamson and their own Quinn Sharp.
Williamson couldn’t come through. The redshirt freshman missed a 35-yard field goal wide left as time expired in regulation and another from 43 yards to open overtime.
Given a chip shot after Weeden hit Colton Chelf on a 24-yard pass - initially ruled a touchdown but overturned on review - Sharp came through, sending his 22-yard field goal through the uprights and the Cowboys charging onto the field.
Should Alabama knock off top-ranked LSU in next week’s BCS championship game, Oklahoma State will be right there, ready to stake its claim at being No. 1 in the Associated Press poll.
“We feel like we could beat anyone in the country,’’ Chelf said.
Stanford (11-2) had its chances.
The Cardinal had 590 yards of offense - nearly 200 more than Oklahoma State - and got another stellar game from Luck before he heads to the NFL.
Luck calmly led Stanford 63 yards over the final 2:35 of regulation to set up a chance at winning its second BCS bowl game in two years. Instead, Williamson missed in regulation, again in overtime and was left sobbing in front of his locker while his coaches and teammates tried to shoulder some of the blame.
“In the end, we lost, and I’m as much to blame as anyone,’’ Luck said.
Taylor ran for 177 yards and a pair of scores. Luck was his usual steady self, hitting 27 of 31 passes for 347 yards and two touchdowns.
Still, it wasn’t enough.
The Cowboys came in with a chip on their shoulders, believing they should have gotten a shot at the BCS title game instead of it being a rematch between Alabama and LSU.
And now the Cowboys can watch the national title game with a rooting interest, ready to stake their claim should the cards fall right.