Connect with us


2012 Title Contender?



Photo Attribution: US Presswire

The always-formidable Travis Haney wrote a lengthy piece on why OSU can/might/will/won’t win it all in 2012. You can read the full article here (and should if you have Insider), but here are some of the highlights if you don’t…

Why they can win it all:

Is there any shot the Cowboys could retool on the fly to surprise the revamped Big 12 in 2012? The odds seem low, but the Pokes’ recent consistency and efficiency under Mike Gundy makes them a candidate to be in the Big 12 and BCS title picture this season.

I mean, I’m one of the biggest OSU homers around and even I think this might be a little much.

It’s very difficult, sitting here in June, to project how Lunt will fare as a freshman starting quarterback in the Big 12. If he can run the offense anywhere near as efficiently as Weeden did, the Cowboys could catch the league off guard. Then again, a figure like Blackmon would certainly aid in Lunt’s early development.

Which I think might as big of an (if not a bigger) issue than Weeden leaving.

Even with Randle and Smith (and the talented Herschel Sims, until he was recently booted from the team), Monken has said the Cowboys will not deter from their plan to feature the pass and use the run to accentuate it. It will be interesting to see if OSU can replicate, or even get close to, its quick-strike numbers from 2011.

The Pokes had 23 drives of a minute or less, one more than Baylor, according to ESPN Stats & Info. Their average touchdown drive was an expedient 1:46, 10 seconds faster than Kevin Sumlin’s Houston team and 12 seconds faster than Chip Kelly’s Oregon team.

Oregon is the Oklahoma State of the pacific!

So long as the turnover trend continues, the Cowboys will be fine. There’s reason to believe it will since the defense returns eight starters, including outstanding corners Brodrick Brown and Justin Gilbert and safety Daytawion Lowe.

Why they won’t win it all:

Still, it’s a freshman QB …

Ever remember a freshman quarterback being named the starter in the spring, two months after he enrolled? It’s highly uncommon — and that’s because of the knowledge and aptitude required to play the position at a high level in a major conference.

With that in mind, there’s always the possibility that Lunt will fall flat, even if he winds up being successful in the long run. It might be too much to ask, simply put. That might even rear its head before the season begins.

We’ve had so many consecutive years of top-notch QB play that it’s almost unfathomable to grasp a…gasp…Case McCoy level of production from whoever holds the reins.

On the flip side for the defense, there could be a law-of-averages concept at play with how many yards Oklahoma State allows. Some pundits and rival coaches wondered last season whether it would eventually catch up with the Cowboys.

It didn’t, really, but it does seem as if they’re playing with a blowtorch when it comes to giving up chunks of the field; it’s just not something you typically see in championship teams.

We’re just trying to driva a stake in the “defense wins championships” cliche. Oregon put it on life support it in 2010, it’s up to OSU, Washington State, West Virginia, somebody, anybody to end it.

Even if the Cowboys are successful, maybe more than expected, this is already a crowded year in terms of Big 12 contenders. Oklahoma figures to have a slight edge as the league favorite going in, but no one would blink if, say, Texas, West Virginia or even TCU wound up winning the conference.

In fact, OSU might be pegged in July as the sixth-best team in the league, behind Kansas State and the schools mentioned above.

On paper, he’s right, this is a tough league. But tell me, which team puts that “oh crap, there’s no freaking way we’re winning tonight” fear in you? WVU? Maybe. OU? In Norman, I guess. There are some strong teams but absolutely no juggernaut.

In some senses, with Lunt and the receivers, this is a rebuilding fall at OSU. But, in other ways — the backs, the defense — this is a fairly experienced team.

It might be unrealistic to expect the Cowboys to be in the hunt for a Big 12 or national title, but some level of success — approaching 10 wins, perhaps — would go a long way in establishing and confirming Oklahoma State’s place in the program efficiency ratings moving forward.

Translation: 2012 is going to be a blast.

Most Read

Copyright © 2011- 2023 White Maple Media