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Oklahoma State football: Cowboys saddled with unprecedentedly high expectations

COMMENTARY — Oklahoma State will likely enter the 2013 season favored to win the Big 12 title. Here's why.
by Jenni Carlson Published: April 19, 2013

Spring football at Oklahoma State has been nothing but interesting.

The Cowboys have a quarterback battle that might or might not be over. They have a new offensive coordinator who is new to big-time football. They have a new defensive coordinator who has been charged with increasing the aggressiveness.

All of those storylines will be on display Saturday during the OSU spring game.

But as interesting as this spring has been, this summer is going to have its own intrigue. That's because the Cowboys are entering a phase of unprecedented expectations.

This team is going to be favored to win the Big 12.

Never before has an OSU team been given such preseason praise. Never before have the Cowboys entered a season with such high hopes.

Sure, the 2011 team had everyone buzzing. Brandon Weeden was throwing passes, and Justin Blackmon was catching them. That made for a pretty rosy outlook for the Cowboys.

But they weren't picked to win the Big 12.

They weren't even picked to finish second.

In the media poll, Oklahoma received 41 first-place votes and 428 points while Texas A&M received one first-place vote and 362 points, narrowly beating out OSU. The Cowboys got 360 points and one first-place vote in finishing third.

No way the Cowboys fall that low when the preseason poll is released in a few months.

It starts with the offense. Even though Todd Monken is gone and Mike Yurcich is here, no one expects any fall off. A system has been established, and the Cowboys are still going to score and score a bunch.

Doesn't matter who the quarterback is either.

Which is a good thing, since there seems to be some confusion about that subject.

Mike Gundy said earlier this spring that Clint “Chelf is our starter. ... I don't necessarily feel like there's a battle out there to start in the first game.” But then this week he said, “We haven't necessarily said anything about the first game of the season.”

Did you follow all that?

Me neither.

But I'm fairly certain it doesn't matter who trots out with the first teamers against Mississippi State. Chelf. Wes Lunt. J.W. Walsh. We've learned that regardless of who plays, the offense keeps right on going.

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by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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