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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

/articleid/3791070/1/pictures/1919387">Photo - Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy waves to the crowd after the Heart of Dallas Bowl football game between Oklahoma State University and Purdue University at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. Oklahoma State won 58-14. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy waves to the crowd after the Heart of Dallas Bowl football game between Oklahoma State University and Purdue University at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. Oklahoma State won 58-14. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

While the offense is sure to continue piling up points, the defense is sure to be better. Glenn Spencer takes over for Bill Young, and he's got a promising bunch to build around. Calvin Barnett. James Castleman. Daytawion Lowe. Justin Gilbert.

Combine the potential that OSU has on defense and the production that it has on offense, and the Cowboys are favorites to win the league.

Much of that is because of the Cowboys, but you can't ignore the fact that part of it is because of the competition.

OU and Texas are no longer the undisputed powerhouses of the league. Kansas State will have to replace Collin Klein. West Virginia will be replacing Geno Smith and Tavon Austin.

On and on the list goes.

TCU is the only other team besides OSU that deserves consideration for the league's top spot. The Horned Frogs have a stout defense and have welcomed back former starting quarterback Casey Pachall. He left the team last fall to seek treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, but this spring, he locked in a battle with returning starter Trevone Boykin.

Whoever gets the starting nod, TCU should have a good squad.

But better than OSU?

I don't see it.

The Cowboys have a great chance to win their second Big 12 title in three seasons. The roll call of programs that have done that is short. Oklahoma. Texas. Nebraska.

Win the Big 12 in the fall, and OSU would join an extremely elite group.

Add that to the list of reasons this offseason carries great expectations for the Cowboys. It will be a summer like no other for this program.

Things are about to get really interesting at OSU.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
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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