hat's all you can ask for.”
Gundy understandably dodged questions about whether it's realistic that OSU can notch eight, nine or 10 wins. But the subliminal message is that Gundy believes the Cowboys are closer to moving up in the Big 12 standings.
"College football has more parity now than ever because of a lot of things — spread offenses, zone pressures, the forward pass, 85 scholarships, APR. All those things factor in to more parity,” Gundy said.
"You still have some schools that have the luxury of a 50-year tradition and double the budget of everybody. But you're seeing schools gaining ground. We're one of those schools gaining ground.”
OSU laid a foundation during a 7-6 season, highlighted by wins over Nebraska and Alabama. The key to taking the next step revolves around how much the defense improves under new defensive coordinator Tim Beckman.
The Cowboys play eight teams that played in a bowl, including road games at Georgia, Troy, Texas A&M, Nebraska and Oklahoma. That doesn't include a home game against Texas.
The season opener could set the tone for the entire season, a "money ball” game in what could be labeled a "money ball” season.
"Oklahoma State is one of the fastest improving programs in the country,” said Texas coach Mack Brown. "Look at what Mike has done and the facilities they're building. They're getting really good players. They're a team that's improved as much as anybody.”
How much have the Cowboys improved? That will be answered by how much the defense improves and whether OSU can win on the road.