Oklahoma State students finished their finals about three weeks ago.
Still, it's time to give out some final grades for OSU's 2013 football season, where the Cowboys tallied 10 wins and controlled their Big 12 title destiny heading into Bedlam.
Yes, OSU still has a game to play. But bowl games can generally be regarded as extra credit.
First, a reminder these grades assess the entire season, not just where the Cowboys ultimately ended up.
And for a large chunk of the year, OSU's offense was very average.
That started with quarterback J.W. Walsh, who struggled with accuracy, consistency and, still, arm strength. His final regular-season numbers: 59.5 completion percentage, 1,333 yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions to go with 294 rushing yards and three scores.
Walsh was pulled in the second quarter of the TCU game on Oct. 19 and only saw action in mop-up duty after that. His short-yardage and goal-line package used last season even disappeared.
Clint Chelf, who started the season opener but was replaced after two series, wasn't great after being re-inserted against the Horned Frogs. He passed for just 78 yards the next week against Iowa State.
But the Cowboy offense steadily improved week-by-week with Chelf behind center (and even under center!) after that, helping propel the Cowboys to seven consecutive wins before Bedlam.
Chelf ended the season as the second-team All-Big 12 quarterback, completing 56 percent of his passes for 1,792 yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also became quite the effective runner, with 321 yards on 53 carries and six scores.
RUNNING BACKS: B-
Here's your second reminder these grades assess the entire season, not just where the Cowboys ultimately ended up.
No way around this: Jeremy Smith's senior season, where he was supposed to take over for Joseph Randle and become the Cowboys' next big-time back, did not go as planned.
Smith struggled as the starter throughout the first half of the season, often dancing behind the line of scrimmage and trying to bounce outside rather than using the power approach that made him a prime short-yardage and goal-line complementary back during his first three seasons.
Some of Smith's game lines? One yard on 15 carries against West Virginia, 14 yards on 12 carries against TCU and 34 yards on 12 carries against Texas-San Antonio.
In Smith's defense, he was also largely playing behind a line that hadn't found its best combination yet. Still, a change ultimately needed to be made.
Desmond Roland had a spectacular starting debut, racking up 219 yards and four touchdowns at Iowa State. And he proved ready to be the every-down back, blending a rugged, downhill approach with deceptive speed and cutting ability to finish with 745 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was also a viable receiver, with eight catches for 80 yards and three touchdowns.
At fullback, Kye Staley recovered from early-season injuries to keep his status as a tough lead blocker and even became a spot ball carrier down the stretch (nine carries, 32 yards, two touchdowns). Jeremy Seaton, meanwhile, became a sneaky receiving threat, with six catches for 56 yards and two touchdowns.
Even as virtually every other position group went through personnel switches and other adjustments, the Cowboy receivers remained steady.
Josh Stewart didn't put up the same gaudy numbers as his breakout sophomore season but remained one of the most versatile weapons in the Big 12 with 52 catches, 623 yards and two touchdowns as a shifty slot target. He also tallied eight rushing attempts for 42 yards, with a couple of those coming while taking straight handoffs as a running back at Texas Tech.
The Moores — Tracy and Charlie — were the Cowboys' big-play threats, combining for more than 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns. Redshirt freshman Jhajuan Seales showed loads of potential in tallying 36 catches for 529 yards and two scores in his debut season.
Youngsters like true freshman Marcell Ateman (18 catches, 240 yards) and sophomores Brandon Sheperd (11 catches, 187 yards) and David Glidden (14 catches, 168 yards) helped ease injury blows to Blake Jackson, Austin Hays and Blake Webb.
OFFENSIVE LINE: B
Joe Wickline worked his magic again in finding the right combination. It just took a bit longer than normal.
The Cowboys were dealt a huge blow when left tackle Devin Davis — largely regarded as their best lineman — sustained a season-ending knee injury just before the season opener.
Then, after plugging many different guys at both spots on the right side through the first five games, Wickline found the most effective group by moving Parker Graham from left tackle to right guard, shifting Daniel Koenig from right tackle to left tackle and then inserting Brandon Garrett or Chris Grisbhy at right tackle.
The Cowboys were always excellent at protecting the quarterback, leading the Big 12 and ranking 10th in the nation with 11 sacks allowed. But the new-look combination helped spark the OSU run game in the second half with Roland and Chelf.
DEFENSIVE LINE: A
OSU's defensive resurgence under first-year coordinator Glenn Spencer started up front, where Calvin Barnett was an absolute force on the interior, compiling 26 tackles, two sacks, five quarterback hurries and one forced fumble as an All-Big 12 selection.
Tyler Johnson (47 tackles, 9.5 for loss, 4.5 sacks, four quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles, one 54-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown) was voted second-team all-conference by the coaches, while James Castleman (31 tackles, five for loss, one sack, one forced fumble) was underrated inside.
Jimmy Bean (four sacks, three quarterback hurries) and Emmanuel Ogbah (four sacks, four quarterback hurries) also made plays off the edge.
Those defensive linemen often kept the opposing offensive linemen occupied, giving the linebackers lots of room to make plays.
And they sure did.
Caleb Lavey was a Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year contender after a monster senior season in the middle, leading the Cowboys in tackles (87) and tackles for loss (12.5) while also tallying four interceptions, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and four interceptions.
Shaun Lewis also remained impactful all over the field, compiling 68 tackles (nine for loss), one sack, three interceptions, three pass breakups, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Ryan Simmons continued to develop in his first season as a starter (62 tackles, 9.5 for loss, one interception), while Joe Mitchell remained one of the Cowboys' most underrated players (44 tackles, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery).
As a whole, OSU's front seven helped the Cowboys rank second in the Big 12 and 23rd nationally in rushing defense (132.9 yards per game) and tie for seventh nationally in takeaways (30).
OSU's more aggressive defensive philosophy promised tighter coverage.
The result? OSU ranked fourth in the nation in interceptions (20), with 12 of those coming from cornerbacks and safeties.
Six of those came from Justin Gilbert, who rallied with a sensational 2013 season following a disappointing 2012. The Thorpe Award finalist added 40 tackles, seven pass breakups and a quarterback hurry. Two of those picks were returned for touchdowns.
Daytawion Lowe ranked second on the team with 80 tackles and added two interceptions and four pass breakups, while Shamiel Gary was one of the Cowboys' most improved players (team-best nine pass breakups, 46 tackles).
The Cowboys also got quite the boost from post-grad transfer Tyler Patmon, who became a part-time starter and tallied one interception, eight pass breakups, one forced fumble and a 78-yard fumble return for a touchdown against Baylor.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B-
Here, the grade truly depends on the specific area.
The Cowboys were fantastic on returns, with Stewart ranking fourth in the nation in punt returns (18.2 yards per return, two touchdowns) and Gilbert 17th in kickoff returns (26.6 yards per return) and adding another touchdown.
The OSU coverage units were often great (16th nationally in kickoff coverage at 18.5 yards per return), though the punt return touchdown to Jalen Saunders allowed in Bedlam certainly hurt.
True freshman Ben Grogan had a rocky start to his field goal kicking career but made a 41-yarder while the earth was shaking in Bedlam and finished the season 10-of-16.
Kip Smith was inconsistent as a punter, ranking 10th in the Big 12 with a 39.9 average, but was effective on kickoffs.