It took OSU decades to win an outright conference championship, finally breaking through a year ago to take the Big 12 crown — the program's first since 1948.
So the Cowboys hardly want to take a step back now.
“When I say this, I mean it wholeheartedly,” said OSU defensive end Cooper Bassett, “there's no reason we can't win the Big 12 this year.”
Critics would say there are reasons, primarily the loss of quarterback Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon.
Bassett balks at such talk.
“I've jokingly said that without Weeden it might not be as pretty as it was last year, but there's no reason we can't win a Big 12 title,” he said. “We've got all the talent we need. Plenty of depth. And we've got new guys who I think are going to step up and really surprise.”
MONKEN: NO LEADING RECEIVER NECESSARY
In times of need — or just any time, really — Blackmon was the obvious go-to guy among the Cowboys receivers.
That's why he led OSU in receptions by 51 catches.
So, who leads the Cowboys in 2012?
“I really don't care,” said offensive coordinator Todd Monken. “I think you have guys that do certain things well, like Justin Blackmon. He was a great one-on-one player, so until it was a one-on-one situation, I really didn't care.
“It's all about which guy can win. You've got to target those guys you want to get the ball to in those critical situations, based on what you think you're going to get. Other than that, I really don't care.
“The defense dictates that. I can't determine how they're going to play us.”
RESPECTING SAVANNAH STATE
Much has been made of the mismatch that OSU-Savannah State appears to be.
Savannah State hasn't won much at its own level, the FCS (formerly Division I-AA), and has been scuffling offensively in its scrimmages this preseason.
Still, the Cowboys insist the need to stay focused.
“You never know what will happen,” said running back Jeremy Smith. “You can't take them out of the picture.
“As long as we execute every play and do what we are supposed to and not slack off, we will be ready when they come.”
STREAKING IN STYLE
OSU has now won six straight home games, after going unbeaten at Boone Pickens Stadium in 2011.
It was the Cowboys' first undefeated home season since 1984 and just the 11th in program history. The school record for consecutive home wins is 10 — from Sept 21, 2002 until Oct. 18, 2003.
More streaky notes:
* OSU has had a scoring drive of less than two minutes in 26 straight games.
* The Cowboys have forced at least two turnovers in 11 straight games.
* OSU's defense has intercepted a pass in 11 straight games.
* The Cowboys have scored at least 37 points in 13 straight home games.