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.