Big 12 Watch 2012: #4 Oklahoma State Cowboys


Call me a Sooner homer all you want, but I am not as high on the Cowboys as I was last season. Last year, there was no doubt the Pokes could play. Barring injuries, I thought OU was good enough to beat Oklahoma State, but hey, stuff happens. Regardless, Oklahoma State has a difficult task of defending their conference crown.

Their defense will be serviceable, probably one of the best in the conference. Also, they return star running back Joseph Randle, a guy that can flat out play. Randle is a serious contender for the best offensive player in the Big 12, which may be a result of him carrying a majority of the offensive load.

Starting under center for Mike Gundy’s 2012 Pokes is true freshman Wes Lunt. He’s got great size for a true freshman at 6-4, 211 lb., but has yet to play a down of big boy collegiate football. Now I am not saying Lunt can’t be good, because Oklahoma State has produced quality college quarterbacks. Although, I am not sure whether to think it’s a good or bad thing a true freshman won the starting job.

Lunt is the main reason I can’t put them any higher than four. They are a lot like Texas, but I feel Randle will be a huge difference maker. Also, their schedule is a lot nicer. Their road games are Arizona, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, and Baylor. None of those schools other than Oklahoma will be huge favorites, if favorites at all, over Oklahoma State.

Here’s the big thing about Oklahoma State, though. We have seen them climb the latter, and they are on the verge of getting to be one of the top programs. It sickens me, but it is true. The Cowboys came up from mediocrity, and won a conference title and BCS bowl. However, can they sustain success? And how will Mike Gundy respond without eight of last year’s offensive starters?

The Pokes have big question marks, and because they are the champs, maybe I am giving them the benefit of the doubt as a top five team. The Big 12 is tough to win, so they’re obviously doing something right in Stillwater. As mentioned, their schedule sets up nicely for the Pokes, and getting to 10 wins again is doable. It just all depends on Lunt’s performance, as well as what he can do with a weaker receiving rotation.