With an extended run of 100-degree days and forecasters predicting no relief in sight, OSU coach Mike Gundy is already considering ways to beat the heat.
It starts with morning practices, as Gundy is targeting 9 a.m. as a reasonable start time.
Already, the Cowboys have altered their schedule for voluntary offseason workouts.
“It's miserable,” quarterback Brandon Weeden said of the heat. “We've been working out in the morning; run from 6:30 to 7:30, then go inside and lift. So it's not too, too bad.
“But two or three days a week we go out at 5:30, in the stadium, and that was just too hot. Then we bounced over to the grass fields and that helped a little bit.”
Still, Weeden said they can't afford to avoid the heat.
“On Sept. 3, (when the Cowboys open at home against Louisiana-Lafayette), it's still going to be 100 degrees, so we've got to be ready. And on the turf it's going to be about 120.
“It sucks. It's just one of those things you've got to get used to.”
Oklahoma State has another record in its sights.
A year after the Cowboys won a program-record 11 games, they hope to break the school record for season-ticket sales. Athletic director Mike Holder believes the record of 45,694 set in 2009 could be in jeopardy.
“We're on pace to maybe push 50 (thousand),” Holder said. “We like to talk that number up. We figure if you say it enough times, we might have it.”
About 34,000 season tickets have been sold so far, but only 2,000 of those are student tickets. With the start of the fall semester, those sales are expected to jump.
“We hope to sell around 12 (thousand),” Holder said. “But the number that's really important (to breaking the school record) is how many public tickets we sell.”
Cowboys wideout Justin Blackmon contemplated bolting to the NFL last winter when he was a redshirt sophomore.
Most assume he'll make the jump after this season.
But Blackmon isn't ready to reveal any such plan just yet.
“I'm just taking it day by day,” he said Monday. “Anything can happen. I could be back here for another year. Right now, I'm just taking it day by day and when it comes time to make a decision, that's when I'll make it.”
Any questions regarding the Cowboys ability to contend are focused on the defensive side of the ball, where five starters were lost and major holes must be filled in the front seven.
“Right now, I feel like those question marks are deserved,” said Cowboys safety Markelle Martin. “Those are young guys who have been in different positions.”
Martin plans to help provide positive answers.
“It's upon the seniors and the guys who have been around to make sure those guys are ready,” he said. “We want to do something great here and I think the defensive guys are ready to try to be one of the best in the conference.
“I think we believe in it and we're going to try to go out and do it.”
Weeden, already holding a degree, will be a graduate student for his final semester as an OSU football player.
His schedule isn't anything too demanding, however, with 12 hours consisting of bowling, golf, first aid and, he believes, geography of sport.
“I'm excited,” he said with a grin. “I worked my tail off for 3 1/2 years (to graduate), I might as well reap the benefits of it.”
Rare is the disparaging word about Blackmon.
But Monday, Gundy recalled the star receiver as being overweight when he arrived on campus as a freshman. Word of the coach's comment left Blackmon shaking his head.
“He must not have known who I was then,” Blackmon said, chuckling. “I was like 170.”
Well, he was listed as a 6-foot-1, 189-pound freshman, but that's still a far cry from chunky. Blackmon is now listed at 211 pounds.
Blackmon is convinced his coach has him confused with another player.
“Tracey Moore probably,” Blackmon said.