Oklahoma State is coming off their best season ever and yet maybe their most disappointing. They were an overtime loss to a mediocre Iowa State team away from playing for the BCS National Championship. Many (including yours truly) felt they earned that shot anyway. Instead they watched Alabama, who lost on their home field (also in overtime) to LSU and therefore did not even win their own division let alone their conference, win the title with a rematch against LSU. This was not only unfair to LSU but to Oklahoma State who won the Big 12.
But that’s like in the BCS and it’s a huge reason we are finally looking at a playoff system. So the Cowboys pain was our gain. But the Cowboys will not only have to come back from the disappointment but also replace two very productive players in Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon. That will be the hard part.
In Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith, the Cowboys do have nearly 2000 yards of rushing offense returning from a year ago. So that is the good news. The bad news is new quarterback and new receivers will put more pressure on the running game, who were not even the focus of opposing defenses last year.
O-Linemen Lane Taylor and Michael Bowie return this year, hopefully tom open holes for the running backs.
Defense will be the team’s strong suit this year. That may be a bit of a problem because these guys have never had to shut opposing offenses down, just slow them up a little. The offense took care of the rest. So this is a new role for them. The Cowboys have six returning defensive starters that accounted for about 300 tackles and 12 picks a year ago.
A true freshman, Wes Lunt looks like he will start at quarterback. I don’t care how talented a true freshman is, the quarterback position is a tough place to play. There will be bumps in the road.
The schedule is going to be tough as always in the Big 12. A potential trap game is in week two when they travel to Arizona. Rich Rodriguez will be looking to make a big splash early in his Wildcats debut. So watch out for this one.
Betting prospectus: Be careful betting on the Cowboys early on in the season.
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