OSU being picked to win Big 12 Conference means very little

That was the attitude of the Cowboy leaders who attended Big 12 Media Days on Monday. Yes, they are treading in tall cotton. Sure, other people expect them to do great things. But none of that matters to them.
by Jenni Carlson Published: July 22, 2013

DALLAS — Shaun Lewis remembers exactly where he was when he heard that Oklahoma State had been picked to win the Big 12.

He was at the pool.

“No,” the Cowboy linebacker said suddenly, “I was in class.”

He furrowed his brow and thought a moment.

“I dunno how I found out,” he said finally.

There's a good reason the historic achievement — the Cowboys had never before been picked by the media as the Big 12 preseason favorites — wasn't seared into his memory.

It doesn't mean anything.

That was the attitude of the Cowboy leaders who attended Big 12 Media Days on Monday. Yes, they are treading in tall cotton. Sure, other people expect them to do great things. But none of that matters to them.

And that is a good sign that this team might be able to turn the prediction into reality.

“It really doesn't mean anything until you go out there and prove it,” Lewis said. “It's nothing but an expectation.”

But it is a mighty heady expectation.

Before the 2010 season, a pair of preseason magazines picked OSU to finish last in the Big 12. Zac Robinson, Dez Bryant, Russell Okung and Kendall Hunter were gone. Gone, too, were Mike Gundy's days as offensive coordinator. So, the Cowboys were breaking in all sorts of new faces.

Would Dana Holgorsen be successful calling plays?

Would Brandon Weeden be successful running them?

And who in the world was going to catch passes?

Some guy named Justin Blackmon turned out to be pretty good. So did Holgorsen and Weeden.

Despite the prognosticators who said the Cowboys would finish last, they won a school-record 11 games that season.

Only three short years later, even though the Cowboys have had lots of turnover since last season's end, no prognosticator doubts they can win the Big 12 this season. Wes Lunt left? Joe Randle went to the NFL? Todd Monken took the Southern Miss job?

No matter.

OSU is still picked to win the league.

“We've come a long ways,” Cowboy defensive tackle Calvin Barnett acknowledged.


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...
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    EXography: Senator lives like a Rockefeller but bills the cost to taxpayers
  2. 2
    $132.5 million ransom originally sought by James Foley's captors from newspaper, family
  3. 3
    KOCO: 'Oklahoma purge' threat getting serious attention from police
  4. 4
    Angels' Garrett Richards suffers patellar injury
  5. 5
    Former OU football star De'Mond Parker released on bond in gang case
+ show more