I bet people started to take notice of Les Miles after his Oklahoma State Cowboys upset in-state rivals Oklahoma in Miles’ first season at the helm. But up until that point, some were probably questioning the appointment of the coach that would eventually be known as the Mad Hatter.
The Cowboys finished the 2000 season with a disappointing 3-8 record and Les Miles was soon tapped to be the head man. That initial 2001 season started off much as the 2000 campaign under Bob Simmons had - with losses. They were again 3-7 with the lone Big XII win coming against winless Baylor. The season went from typically disappointing to the fan base looking forward to what was coming. It all changed on November 24, 2001 when the Cowboys traveled to Norman to face the #4 ranked Oklahoma Sooners.
The first quarter ended with no scoring for either team, but the Sooners took the lead in the second. In fact, they were leading 10-3 and things seemed pretty comfortable at the half.
Oklahoma then kicked a field goal in the fourth quarter and the score was 13-3. After an OSU field goal, the Cowboys needed one last possession. They got one. With 1:36 left in the game, Cowboy’s QB Josh Fields threw a 14 yard TD pass to Rashaun Woods to seal the victory.
Here is a link to the game winning drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCA4y9FpXhw
It was a massive upset. The Sooners were 27-point Las Vegas favorites heading in, not to mention the defending national Champions, and this victory was the start of something magical from Les’s Cowboys over the next three years, when they would secure a bowl berth in each campaign. That was the start of 14-straight bowl appearances for Miles.
But the real day the name Les Miles burst onto the college football scene was November 24, 2001, the day his Oklahoma State Cowboys upset the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman.