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The Oklahoma State Conundrum - What Should Fans Expect?

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This fan base has seen a lot, but it seems to be massively confused as to what it should expect.

Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

With an all-time record of 560-537-47, Oklahoma State football is just good enough to be No. 83 of 129 teams that Winsipedia keeps track of. The Cowboys don't have an all-time winning record against any Power Five division, with a 176-228-17 record against their own conference, the Big 12.

The school has seen 55 losing seasons, the last one in 2005 (4-7), and 54 winning seasons, 13 of those coming since 2000, if you count this year, which should be a winning season, 14 of 55 since the turn of the century. Three of the schools six 10-win seasons have come in this century (2010-2011, 2013).

There are more three-win seasons (17) than there are nine, 10, 11 or 12-win seasons (12). The school brand has certainly expanded in the last 15 or so years. As one of our own, Cameron Osburn (Georgia native) has said:

"nobody outside of the Big 12 prior to Gundy cared about OSU on a national level outside of Sanders' Heisman year, no one feared OSU."

He's not wrong. However, since Gundy took over, this school has exploded. For better or for worse, people know OSU. They know what the team is capable of under Mike Gundy, they know that Boone Pickens gave so much money that there's a barbershop for players or that OSU has shown off some awesome uniforms in years past. Heck, 15 years ago, you're probably not even searching for tickets to a game because they're so easily available. Now, you can't find them cheap enough at times.

The attitude around the program, fans and media have all changed. Should they expect Oklahoma State to compete with teams that have a much storied history? Sure, there's no reason why not. There's so many high school players out there in the world that there's bound to be a few three or four stars that should've went to an Alabama, Texas or Notre Dame that somehow end up in Stillwater. Should they expect a national title? Probably, probably not, it could go anyway.

But at 5-0, for the first time since 2011, fans are unhappy. It doesn't make much sense. After years of suffering through 3-7 or 4-8 or even last years 7-5, people are calling for players to be benched, coaches to be fired and jumping ships. Why? Could it possibly be that after the 2010 and 2011 seasons that OSU fans got spoiled? It hasn't been the same since then. If Zac Robinson led OSU to nine-wins in 2009 why is it any different Mason Rudolph do the same, only a year removed from being the youngest team in the nation?

A few weeks ago, we heard The Franchise host John Rohde say that OSU fans should, "just have a beer and relax." Sam Mayes had an amazing take on that:

Sams_message_to_OSU_fans.0.mp3

I'm not saying you shouldn't have high expectations, because every fan does and should. It's what makes sports great. But as of right now, OSU is one of the few undefeated teams left, has a quarterback in the top eight of passing yards and a defensive lineman who could be drafted in the top 15 picks come May. It's probably not time to freak and it still isn't if the team comes out of the season with nine wins. Remember, they're young and are only getting better. No one really knows what the bar for OSU fans should be and it doesn't seem we're going to get answer anytime soon.

Like it or not, we are in the midst of what could be a top 10 Oklahoma State season in its history and no one seems to be happy.