That's right...it's OSU week on RMN! OSU was my default second-favorite team growing up...that's really neither here nor there, so let's just move on to the links.
First, the quick summary: OSU in 2008 will be breaking in a new offensive coordinator, and they'll have plenty to work with--QB Zac Robinson (who would be an all-conference caliber performer in any other conference), a stable of potential stud RBs, an "all-conference" (what a joke) tight end, Dez Bryant at WR, and a ton of returning experience at OL. Meanwhile, if there's reason for overly-optimistic post-spring chatter, it's the potential improvement (and depth) of the defense. The LB corps and secondary return mostly intact, and while the DL lost quite a bit of experience, there's a lot of potential with former big-time recruits and good athletes. In all, despite losing a big number of lettermen from the 2007 squad, they return athleticism and potential in each unit. Will that be enough to make OSU a contender in a South Division loaded with a Top 5 Oklahoma team, a hungry Texas team, and a flavor-of-the-month Texas Tech squad? Unlikely, but I guess you never know. At least they'll probably be better than ATM, right?
Rivals.com has listed three Cowboys on their position rankings: Zac Robinson is the #16 QB, Dez Bryant the #19 WR, and Brandon "All-Conference" Pettigrew the #4 TE.
How'd the Orange & White Game go? Let's find out! About 20,000 fans saw a strangely low-scoring 9-7 win for the Orange (what was the score of Mizzou's game? Something like 436-358?) Sign of an improved defense? Dez Bryant and RB Kendall Hunter both had decent games despite the lack of points, while guys like Seb Clements, Jamie Blatnick, and Justin Gent were defensive heroes.
The defense could be further assisted by the emergence of former star recruit Richetti Jones (sorry, The Richetti Jones), who may finally be fully recovered from a broken hip.
Despite the fact that his new offensive coordinator's name is Trooper (!!), Mike Gundy is considering calling the plays during games this fall. Either way, OSU's (and Mizzou's, for that matter) style could be helped by the new clock rule changes, according to a Daily Oklahoman blogger.
It wouldn't make sense to create an OSU Links post and not mention T. Boone Pickens at least once. So I'll go with this Barry Tramel column, talking about how the pretty, new, massively expanded stadium (paid for with Pickens' scrilla) now needs to be kinda sorta filled.
You don't build a 60,000-seat palace with a county fair attitude. You build 60,000 seats because you want them filled.
It's Gundy's job to fill them. He's got to get some help from the marketing department and the business office and even the hot-dog vendors. But in big-time college football, it falls upon the coach to fill the seats.
OSU averaged 39,857 fans in 2007, so there's not going to be any jump to 60,000 in 2008. But the ascension must start.
Gundy doesn't seem all that worked up about the mandate. "My job is to put a good team on the field," he said.
Gundy's done a so-so job of that the past two years but he's done a heck of a job giving fans their money's worth. Football at the Boonedock has been the best show in the state the last two years.
Victories of 41-29 over Nebraska, 49-45 over Texas Tech and 41-39 over Kansas State; losses of 34-33 in overtime to Texas A&M, 27-21 in Bedlam, 38-35 to Texas and 43-28 to Kansas. Poke fans don't always go home happy from Stillwater, but they always go home entertained.
Finally, let's visit YouTube for highlights of 'Pokes new...