Monday, May 21, 2012

Big 12 Orientation Week 5: Oklahoma State Football

Too easy...

Oklahoma State Football At-A-Glance:
  • First year of football was 1901, joined the Southwest Conference in 1915.  
  • All time record of 533-523-48
  • 11 conference championships (most being Missouri Valley Conference champs, so mark that under who gives a shit).  One outright Big 12 title, which was obviously last season.
  • No national championships, but maybe that would've had a shot had they not shit the bed against Iowa State last year.
  • 14-8 bowl record, most recently winning the Fiesta Bowl last season. 
  • 1 Heisman winner (Barry Sanders, 1988).  
History With TCU:  11-9-2 lifetime record for Okie Lite lifetime against TCU with the most recent meeting dating back to 1993, a game won 27-22 by the Cowboys in Stillwater.  There was also a 1945 Cotton Bowl meeting, but the Frogs didn't fare so well in that one either, falling 34-0.  My memory of that game is pretty hazy though, since my parents weren't even born yet, so it didn't really happen in my mind.  In fact, if we haven't played since 1993, let's just wipe the slate clean and start fresh in the Big 12.  

Famous Ex-Cowboys:

Barry Sanders.  Remember him?  He was pretty damn good until he got sick of playing in Detroit and retired in his prime.  Can't fault the guy- it's Detroit.

Thurman Thomas.  He was REALLY good at losing Super Bowls.

Brandon Weeden.  The oldest major college football QB since Scott Bakula led the Texas State Armadillo's to a successful season in 1991 in the cinematic masterpiece "Necessary Roughness".  Currently, Weeden the geriatric is in the process of inevitably taking Colt McCoy's job from him and Cleveland and forcing him to go back to working at his family drug store.  

Dez Bryant.  He underachieves, can't seem to wear his pants around his waist, claims his dad is a pimp, and has amassed an unfathomable amount of jewelry debt.  Did I miss anything?

Justin Blackmon.  He's Dez, minus the headache that comes with being Dez.

Recent History:  Last year was obviously the most successful season in Cowboy's history, and they're currently in a stretch under Mike Gundy that has been arguably the best run of football their program has ever seen, winning 9 games or more in each of the last 4 seasons with the crowning achievement being the Fiesta Bowl victory last season.  As most of your probably recall, prior to Gundy, Les Miles started to pave the way for an up and coming program, then inexplicably his mediocrity was hired away to eat grass on the sidelines in Baton Rouge.  It should also be noted that it hasn't hurt their program to have T. Boone Pickens sinking his billions into their state of the art facilities.  One thing T. Boone can't do anything about, though, is the fact that it's still Stillwater, Oklahoma and nobody in their right mind would ever want to spend 4 years there.  

2012 Outlook:  Obviously Oklahoma State is losing a lethal combination that carried them the past couple of seasons in Weeden and Blackmon, but they do return leading rusher Joseph Randle (1,216 yards, 24 TD's last year), so the cupboard isn't bare.  There could be some serious growing pains in Stillwater this year, however, as they plan to start true freshman Wes Lunt at QB.  Oklahoma State's defense ranked #107 nationally last year, but was #1 in forcing turnovers, so they're opportunistic and they're going to need to be in order to shorten the field for their young QB.  Oklahoma State always seems to have some sort of superstar at WR, so look for the Blackmon void to be filled by one of several options, such as Tracy Moore or Isaiah Anderson.  Personally, I'm not too worried about the 2012 Cowboys, but Gundy is a proven coach and a late October trip to Stillwater could prove to be tricky.  I think it's a game we need to win if we want to put together the kind of season we all imagine is possible though.  

Bittersweet Regular Season Finale

History will tell the story of this weekend as TCU rebounding from a series-opening shutout loss to take two of three from San Diego State and earn a share of their seventh consecutive regular-season Mountain West title- meaning that the Frogs have at least shared the title in every year of their run in the MWC.  That Friday loss, though- coupled with a Sunday injury to senior Jason Coats- mean that any celebration was likely fairly muted.

That 3-0 setback on Friday night, coupled with New Mexico's sweep of Air Force, means that the co-champion Lobos will actually enter this week's MWC Tournament as the #1 seed.  TCU's first game will be Thursday afternoon against the same SDSU squad they saw this weekend- and likely against the same trio of pitchers that kept them off of the scoreboard for nine innings in that loss.

If the Frogs are to gain some measure of revenge on the Aztec pitchers that were able to strand twelve TCU runners, they may have to do so without their best hitter.  Jason Coats, who leads the team with 63 hits and 45 RBI, injured his knee running through first base in the sixth inning of Sunday afternoon's game.  He is seeking a second opinion on the injury today, and as of now his status going forward is unknown.

Big 12 Orientation, Week 5: Oklahoma State

We now move on to the teams within a reasonable driving distance of Fort Worth, starting this week with Oklahoma State.  It's my opinion that the Southwest Conference should've been proactive back in the early 90s to stave off extinction, and that the Cowboys ought to have been one of the expansion targets.  But while having these night vision goggles would've been really cool to have in the conference as kids, I guess it's even better to have them now.  Now we'll just have to see if they want to go do karate in the garage.

OSU was founded as the Oklahoma Territorial Agricultural and Mechanical College back in 1890, seventeen years before Oklahoma officially became a state.  Oklahoma A&M, which actually was in the SWC from 1914-1924, changed its name to Oklahoma State in 1957 and joined the Big 8 three years later.   Their current enrollment of 21,419 will make OSU the third-smallest school in the Big 12 once TCU officially joins in July.   US News & World Report ranks Oklahoma State as the 132nd best college in America.

The endowment of Oklahoma State is a modest $350 million, but they have gained a reputation for a much-improved cash flow in recent years because of T. Boone Pickens.  More than just a passing mention in American Psycho, Pickens has given or pledged about half a billion dollars to his alma mater since 2006- three years after the football stadium was renamed in his honor.

If you're somehow under the impression that Cowboy fans do not partake in meth and/or paint thinner when they party on game day, these next two videos ought to set you straight:

Morning Dump


TCU clinches Co-MWC Championship

Frogs earn share of conference title, but injury to Coats looms large Star-Telegram


TCU football players give a young boy the gift of their time Star-Telegram


TCU advances to NCAA Men's Golf Championships

Par 3s frame final day for JJ Henry at Byron Nelson as he finishes 3rd ESPN