Richetti Jones just couldn't understand it. He couldn't fathom how his former teammates wouldn't show up at the Big 12 Media Days in Dallas flashing their bling and reminding Sooners and Longhorns and everyone else how they stormed to the conference title a year ago.
Jones, a 2011 senior and budding media member, wore his sparkling Big 12 championship ring proudly as a member of OSU's traveling party.
But those on official business – Joseph Randle, Cooper Bassett and Lane Taylor – left theirs at home.
In 2012, the Cowboys haven't won anything. And they know it. And that's how they're approaching it.
Better be approaching it.
“It's time to move on from last year,” Randle said. “We don't have the same guys. We've got to create our own identity.”
Wise words, if the Cowboys can live by them.
Don't look back.
As has been well documented, OSU never experienced success like last year. Big 12 champs. Fiesta Bowl champs. Mike Gundy, National Coach of the Year.
Widespread adoration followed, with pats on the back and loving atta-boys and hugs and even shared tears.
What a year it's been.
Now, however, the Pokes must sift through it all to determine what to carry forward and what to leave behind.
There are things to cling to for sure from 2011. A continued trend of road success; the Cowboys won in Austin, College Station, Columbia and Lubbock. A never-say-die spirit seen in rallying wins over Texas A&M, Kansas State and Stanford. A newfound big-game confidence.
Those can be valuable assets going forward.
But there are potential traps attached to 2012, too, especially for a team that's entered uncharted territory of success. A sense of arrival. Or contentment. Or satisfaction.