STILLWATER, Okla. -- Mike Gundy didn't feel comfortable campaigning for No. 3 Oklahoma State to play for the national title until his Cowboys had at least won a conference crown.
His team made a better case than anything he could have ever said.
Joseph Randle ran for 151 yards and two touchdowns, Richetti Jones returned a fumble for a score and No. 3 Oklahoma State throttled Oklahoma (No. 10 BCS, No. 13 AP) 44-10 Saturday night to win the Big 12 championship and make its case to play for the BCS national title.
"I don't think there's any question Oklahoma State should play in the big game," Gundy said.
The Cowboys (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) snapped an eight-game losing streak in the Bedlam rivalry and won their first outright conference title since 1948 in the three-team Missouri Valley.
Oklahoma State's defense, badmouthed much of the season while giving up big yardage but leading the nation in takeaways, forced the Sooners (9-3, 6-3) into five turnovers -- four of them by quarterback Landry Jones.
Fans started chanting "L-S-U!" midway through the fourth quarter with the victory well in hand, then stormed the field and tore down the goal posts when it was over.
The top-ranked Tigers could be next up for the Pokes, but only with a boost in the BCS standings due out Sunday night.
"If that's the way it works out, absolutely. We took care of what we could take care of," quarterback Brandon Weeden said. "We had to worry about us and control what we could control, and if we were able to do that, we were conference champs."
While the top-ranked Tigers won the SEC championship Saturday to lock up a spot in the BCS title game, No. 2 Alabama sat at home idle after finishing second in its division. Oklahoma State, meanwhile, proved itself the best team in its state and its conference. But it's up to the voters, who had the Cowboys fifth in the coaches' poll and Harris poll, to decide whether Oklahoma State will play for the highest stakes.
Gundy proclaimed earlier this week that he considered the Crimson Tide to be the second-best team in the nation "right now" -- but that's what he thought his team needed to hear at the time.
"I have to make that decision and I wasn't raised that way. I'm not comfortable standing up and beating our chests and saying that we needed to play somebody when we hadn't even won this game," Gundy said.
"That was what we were telling the team in here every day. ... I said, 'Look, I'm not going to go stand up and say we need to go play somebody else until you guys beat Oklahoma."
Afterward, he proclaimed on the field that "there's no question Oklahoma State should be No. 2 right now."
"The honest answer is we didn't deserve it. We do now," Gundy said. "And if we'd have won this game 17-14, I don't know if I'd have said it. ... When you win by 34 points, we deserve the right."
The Cowboys won over at least one voter: Sooners coach Bob Stoops said he'd put them at No. 2 on his ballot.
"I'm sure they're going to have some great opportunities from here," Stoops said. "I don't know what will happen."