STILLWATER — Todd Monken swears this isn't fun.
The Oklahoma State offensive coordinator commands one of the most high-powered bunches in college football. With a savvy quarterback, a dynamic receiver, a slick tailback and a deep cast of supporting characters, this is an entertaining group. It scores points fast and steamrolls opponents.
That's what the Cowboys did again Saturday.
OSU 59, Baylor 24.
But Monken insists being the orchestrator of this offensive symphony isn't all it's cracked up to be.
“This is not enjoyable,” he said, looking as serious as sin. “I was a lot more fun as a receivers coach. I had a lot less on my plate.”
I'm not sure anyone is going to feel sorry for Monken.
After all, he's having a pretty decent rookie season as the play caller in Stillwater. Not only has he helped lead the Cowboys to an 8-0 start and the No. 3 spot in the BCS rankings, but he has also made people forget about a guy who some Cowboys fans thought irreplaceable.
What was that guy's name again?
Oh, yeah, Dana Holgorsen.
When the Red-Bull-guzzling, surfer-dude-looking offensive mastermind bolted for West Virginia after last season, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. What would the Cowboys do without him? How would they manage? How would they look?
“Pretty good,” Cowboy quarterback Brandon Weeden said after Saturday's beat down. “It looks pretty good.”
No doubt about that.
Against Baylor, OSU rolled up 601 yards despite having only 63 plays. That kind of per-play average is ridiculous. Houston, which leads the nation in total offense, has averaged 7.8 yards a play this season. OSU averaged 9.5 against Baylor.
The Cowboys moved it any which way they wanted Saturday. On the ground, they rolled up 327 yards. Through the air, they amassed 274 yards.
“You saw today and you've seen all year, they're a very explosive offense,” Baylor linebacker Elliot Coffey said. “Very mature in terms of what they do. It's a difficult team to (defend).”
OSU tailback Joe Randle, who rushed for 152 yards and four touchdowns, said, “At some point, it was just feeling like anything our offensive coordinator dialed up, we would be able to execute.”
It looked like that, too.
Run a bunch. Pass a bunch. Mix 'em up.
Take the first of two fade-to-Blackmon touchdowns that Weeden threw. It was a fourth-and-1 play in the first half, and Monken sent in a running play. Weeden had every intention to hand it off, get the yard and move the chains.
“Eh,” he thought as he took the snap, “I think I'm just gonna throw it.”
He lofted one of those familiar fades into the corner of the end zone and connected with Justin Blackmon.
“We threw it,” Weeden said. “We got it.”
“It was just that easy.”
The Cowboys are almost making this whole thing look a bit too easy. I mean, Weeden isn't being talked about as a Heisman Trophy contender despite having some of the best numbers in the nation and leading one of the few remaining undefeated teams. Part of that is the video-game, sure-looks-like-anyone-can-do-this nature of this offense.
But the truth is, the Cowboys start at zero every week just like everyone else.
That is something that Monken stresses.
“Like I tell the guys, you can't carry over points,” he said. “You can't carry over 70 points. You have to play well the next week. You can't take the average of what you have. You have to do it every week.
“We've done that.”
That is something that Monken is enjoying. He sees his players buying in. He watches them taking responsibility for their business on the field, not turning over the ball or committing penalties or making mistakes.
“That's the biggest thing — just the approach that they've taken,” he said. “When we have those good players, when you play good football, you're going to score points.”
Monken and his offense are doing just that, dominating defenses, winning games and making everyone in Cowboy Country forget that scruffy guy with his plays drawn up on a cocktail napkin.