Already, at 2-2, Oklahoma State has more losses than all of last season.
And an 0-1 start to league play has them in an early hole in the Big 12.
Emphasis on the early.
“We think as a one-loss team that we can win the league,” said Cowboys football coach Mike Gundy. “A two-loss team may even win this league with what's out there.”
It wouldn't be the first time.
In the past five years, Oklahoma has twice won the league championship with two losses, including 2010, when both the Sooners and Missouri carried two losses into the Big 12 title game.
“We're going to try to win every single game, and we feel like we can win every single game,” said Cowboys center Evan Epstein. “I feel like anyone can win any single game, which makes it a really unique situation.”
At 2-0 in conference play, West Virginia and Kansas State are out in front, yet still have many key games remaining, including against each other.
“West Virginia and Kansas State have set themselves up early, but it's really early,” Gundy said. “There's a lot of football out there and a lot of factors can play into that. You have to stay healthy and you have to take care of the football, and I think most coaches would agree with that.
“That provides for an exciting two months coming up.”
PRAISE FOR SHARP
During his weekly media gathering, Kansas coach Charlie Weis showered OSU's offense and defense with various compliments.
And he didn't stop there.
“That all being said, their best player on the team might be their kicker,” Weis told reporters. “After I've said all of those good things about their offense and defense, Quinn Sharp might be the best player at his position in the country. He might be.
“I mean, he's a very, very good kicker. He really takes you out of your punt return game and your kickoff return game a lot of times, because of how good a player he is. He's exceptional.”
FAIR DAY FOR ANDERSON
Bye weeks are officially over for the Cowboys, after their schedule featured two open dates in three weeks. OSU's game at Kansas on Saturday marks a stretch of eight games in eight weeks to finish off the season.
So how did the Cowboys take advantage of their final weekend off until December? Wide receiver Isaiah Anderson, a Wichita Falls product, went to the Texas State Fair. “It was a little cold out there, a little rainy, but I still had a good day,” Anderson said. “Spent all my money on food and rode a couple rides, so I got my money's worth.”
Anderson sampled several of the various interesting eats.
“I'm a big turkey leg man,” Anderson said, “but my favorite thing out there was the fried jambalaya. It was the first time I had had it, and it was actually really good.”
COWBOYS HAVE DOMINATED KU
As if KU's early season struggles don't suggest a decided OSU edge, recent series history also tilts heavily toward the Cowboys.
In the Big 12 era, OSU is 7-1 vs. Kansas, with KU's 2007 Orange Bowl team the only Jayhawk squad to beat the Cowboys, 43-28. That's OSU's second-best record against a Big 12 foe. The Cowboys are 15-1 against Baylor.
By John Helsley, Gina Mizell and Berry Tramel