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Pressbox to the Couch



Photo Attribution: KT King

O’Colly sports editor and I traded emails this week about Kansas, Texas, and how good OSU really is. Here’s what transpired…

Kyle Porter: Finish this sentence: that performance against KU was an indicator that OSU is the #______ team in the country.

Anthony Slater: Well, that first half was as dominating as it gets. It looked like the New England Patriots playing Ball State, except it was actually a Big 12 conference game. So, I couldn’t imagine a better performance by any team in the country.

That being said, I think they should be ranked 4th. LSU and Alabama have been dominant, and the SEC’s national championship streak gives them the benefit of the doubt. And OSU shouldn’t pass Oklahoma until they beat them. Other than that, I don’t think there is a team in the country that looks as good as the Cowboys.

How much better is this offense from last year?

Porter: I don’t know if they’re better, I just think they’re more comfortable which I guess is somewhat intuitive after a few years of playing together. They call plays fast, they never get rattled, and they always seem a step or two (sometimes literally) ahead of the opposing D.

Have we reached a point where we expect them to go down to Austin and win by three touchdowns?

Slater: It’s crazy how quickly the fortunes of these two programs have changed. I wouldn’t say it is a sure thing that OSU goes down and to Texas and crushes them, but for the second straight year they are clearly the better team. And that to me is the amazing part. Despite all of the inherit advantages, particularly in recruiting, OSU is a more talented team now and has a brighter future than the Longhorns. UT will get back to prominence, so I think that says more about the elite status Oklahoma State has climbed to.

I have to ask you about Clint Chelf. Granted it was against Kansas, but he looked pretty good on Saturday. If he is the starting quarterback when camp breaks next fall, are you comfortable with that? How far could he take them?

Porter: I think I’m hesitantly okay with it, if that makes sense. I think Chelf looks like he knows what’s going on and can run the offense pretty efficiently, but it’s nothing I’m getting really excited about or anything.

I do think he will be the starter next year if only because he has such a higher mastery of the offense than either JW Walsh or (obviously) Wes Lunt. His lengthy throwing motion bothers me a little bit because I think it’s easy for defensive backs to read but I guess I kind of have to trust Gundy’s recent track record with signal-callers.

Do you think most OSU fans truly understand what’s beginning to take place in Stillwater this year?

Slater: Yes and no. I think many of the students and other fans surrounding this program appreciate how well it is performing. The fan base and optimism is growing by the day. There is a deep level of interest surrounding this team, and that will only grow as Bedlam and a potential BCS bowl approaches.

But, what I don’t think people are fully aware of is how rare this particular season is. This program is on the rise and should be a ranked team for years to come. But, no matter the university, it is incredibly rare to actually have a shot at a national championship. With the way college football is run, there are four to five teams per season with a legitimate shot. And it is usually the same programs. For OSU to be in that discussion is incredible. And it should be cherished.

Give me your thoughts on the game in Austin this weekend and your percentage that we see an undefeated Bedlam.

Porter: I’m scared to say this out loud (or write it in public, I guess) but I feel really good going to Austin. Last year Texas was a lot worse and I was scared to death, mostly because we hadn’t beaten them in your parents lifetime. This year? Well, they’re a lot better but I also feel significantly more confident than I did last year. I think it’s just that I feel like this team this year could go anywhere and wreck shop…maybe save Tuscaloosa and Baton Rouge.

As for Bedlam, I can’t look that far ahead. Do I think it’s going to happen? Yes, but I can barely let my brain get that far down the road without it caving in on itself at the thought of 22 wins and 0 losses taking the field on December 3rd.

Would an undefeated Bedlam be the regular season game of the year?

Slater: I think at this point, it is clearly one of the two biggest games. If everything goes according to plan, I see two semifinal games for the national championship. LSU at Alabama in a couple weeks and that December date between the two Bedlam rivals. The BCS formula should have the SEC and Big 12 as the two top conferences, thus sending any undefeated teams from either into the title game. Much can happen before then, but it’s hard not to think about it.

Ok, I’m going to give you your chance. You have been adamant about Weeden not getting enough national attention. Finish this P2C off with a quick Heisman campaign for your favorite quarterback.

Porter: He’s in the top ten in every major relevant statistical passing category there is. I would go through them all but the list is longer than Ohio State’s violations report. He hasn’t thrown an interception in three weeks. He torched the entire city of College Station in the second half of the Big 12 game of the year so far this year. He had the best two quarters of any quarterback in the country this year against KU, and possibly the best half in Big 12 history.

Most importantly – he’s 16-2 as a starter and has the second highest career winning percentage in the country for a starting quarterback (trailing only Kellen Moore). All he does is score points and win games. I don’t know what else you could ask for from a Heisman trophy quarterback.

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