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NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Stanford vs Oklahoma StatePhoto Attribution: US Presswire

How good does it sound to kick the fall off by saying OSU is out to defend [1. Not “hope for,” not “vie for,” not “play for,” not “put itself in a position to win,” just “defend”] a Big 12 championship?

Here are five (of 10) stories I’ll be looking at as the 2012 football team completes its first full week of fall camp.

1. Are we a 10-win program – There are cute stories, there are good teams in bad conferences, there are special years or two-year runs, and then there are programs. I think OSU is on the verge of crashing the program party but I don’t think they’re quite there yet. Show me 10 wins this year though and yes, you’re a program.

2. How good is Todd Monken – He basically said his goal last year was “don’t crash the Maserati into a tree.” This year though? he has to make all the right calls, know when to go conservative, be willing to let his freshman QB ride, determine when to lay back with Randle and Smith, and try to get a feel for an offense that doesn’t have an identity. Oh yeah, and expectations are higher than they’ve ever been in school history. Good luck.

3. What will JW Walsh do – People (including me) keep saying he’s going to be Tebow Lite, switch things up from the air raid with Lunt, and provide a Blake Bell-like package that diversifies the offense. The more I think about it though, the less I think that’s Gundy’s (not to mention Monken’s) style. I think they’re just going to live and die by the freshman, but if that’s the case, and they’ve said they want to see Walsh get touches…how’s that going to happen?

4. The secondary is great…but is it good – Everybody knows Justin Gilbert, Brodrick Brown, and Daytawion Lowe are going to do Gilbert, Brown, and Lowe things. They’ve all proven themselves to be stars in an under appreciated (if not underrated) defense. But what will OSU get from first-year started Lavocheya Cooper? And what if Brown or Gilbert….gulp….gets h-word? Unproven backups Zack Craig and Larry Stephens are next in line.

If the Big 12 has proven anything over the last five years it’s that you can be all kinds of great in the secondary, but you better be deep and your depth better be good because offensive coordinators keep coming and coming and coming. I wonder what Dana thinks when he sees the names Zack Craig and Larry Stephens [3. Other than ‘I need some ecstasy right now!!’] …

5. Who is Joe Randle – Is he the subtle monster who posted the second most rushing TDs in school history and averaged a TD every 8.66 carries [2. Is it here that I tell you Barry averaged a TD every 9.30 carries in 1988 or should we wait until later?]. Or is he simply the beneficiary of two larger-than-life teammates who demanded half (if not more) of opponents’ weekly defensive game plans? I’m leaning towards the former, but we’ll find out for sure this season.

Five more stories coming tomorrow. Man, I’m getting fired up for this season!

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