Baseball: What makes this team better than Holliday's past teams (are they)?
Ummm...they made it to the CWS?
I mean they had 11 guys drafted this year right? This team is flat out talented.
Based on the Big 12 tournament, I'd have to say the bullpen. Seriously though, we've known all year the pitching staff is the strength of the team and they really showed off in South Carolina. I don't know that this team is markedly better than last year, just getting healthy and getting hot at the best possible time.
Pitching depth. Senior leadership. This is a special group, and if the pitching holds up, we should make some noise in Omaha.
I think talent wise this is Holliday's best team, hands down. The three-headed pitching monster we have is second to none. We didn't have a great regular season, but we're playing to our potential at the right time.
I'd say it's got to be maturity... or leadership... or however you want to describe it. This team has grit and was able to weather some injury issues (namely Costello) and a collapse in the Big 12 tournament (namely Buffett) and put together a couple of weeks of incredible baseball.
By the way, if I gave out postseason MVP's on offense and defense it would be to those two guys. Costello for being able to come back and play at a high level and Buffett for being able to put his Big 12 tournament struggles out of his mind and shut down two of the best teams in the country. Talk about grit.
Football: Predict OSU's first loss. (Here's the schedule for reference)
An opponent will score more points than OSU, and it will happen sometime during the regular season.
@ TCU in November? @ Norman in December? Don't know if they lose either one but those are games to circle on your calendar.
I think our first loss comes at Baylor. Obviously, there's more than enough distraction and turmoil going on for the Bears to go into hibernation, but sometimes things like this serve to galvanize a team. They won't lose enough talent to have much of an effect on this year's team and they've still got their coordinators in place (somehow). If they can stay focused, they'll still be a force to be reckoned with on the field, particularly in Waco. There was a glaringly obvious gap in athleticism between OSU and Baylor last season and I don't know why to expect that to be different this season.
Maaaan, @ Baylor is going to be a tough one. First conference game. They'll have their QB1 back. It will be a battle. Their team is under serious scrutiny, and it could be one of those "overcoming the odds" seasons for Baylor. If we get by Baylor, hopefully we can string together some wins until @ OU. (See how I didn't really answer your question?)
This question is easy. We aren't gonna lose. Well, maybe to 'Bama in the championship game. I'd be content with that.
I, like Gallagher, am more optimistic than some, but not as optimistic as him. I think the Cowboys have turned into a very good home team over the last few years. I think they go undefeated in BPS.
I also think Rudolph gets his one career win in Waco. With everything going on down there, a coaching change and all the doubt and drama circling the program, I think the Bears take a step back this year. It's inevitable right?
Okay, shorter answer: TCU. The Pokes will travel to Ft. Worth after throttling the Horny Toads in Stillwater last year (the last game an OSU fan actually enjoyed). Kenny Hill should be well established as the leader of the offense and I can't believe the Frogs will have the same injury struggles as last year. TCU gets their revenge.
Football: Give me one player on offense, defense and special teams that has the most to prove going into fall camp.
Off...BJS. I need visual evidence that he's related to Barry.
Def...Ramon Richards...he needs to put Samaje Perine on his back.
ST...The freshman kicker with the YouTube video. I need a direct snap 50 yard drop kick as time runs out to beat OU...and Texas...and Baylor...
Off- I'm going with Mason Rudolph here. I'm excited to see what he's going to do with full control of the offense with the departure of JW.
Def- All indications are Ramon Richards has work his tail off all offseason and has assumed a leadership role on this team. We'll see if it pays dividends on the field.
ST- Zach Sinor could be one of the top punters in the nation if he builds on last year's success.
Offense - (Insert name of literally any offensive lineman on the roster).
Defense - Ramon Richards, the secondary could be dirty, but Richards can be a liability. He needs to show he can play solid coverage and tackle somebody (so basically he needs to prove he can effectively play defensive back).
Special teams - Ben Grogan, sure he's going to hold some records when he's done, but that has more to do with being the starting kicker for four years than it has to do with his reliability. This is the first time he's had some legitimate competition, so I'd like to see him rise to the challenge and prove he's the man. Maybe he has nothing to prove. But be honest, game on the line, Grogan standing at the 30. You feel good about it?
Offense: Crabtree, Salako, Lundblade, and the rest of the big boys. The success of our offense relies on these guys, and they need to step up after last year's piss poor performance. A lack of running game hurts everyone. Remember when our defense could barely catch a break because the only "running" we had in our offense was Mason Rudolph running for his life? That can't happen again.
Defense: All the defensive ends. When you lose two beasts like Ogbah and Bean, you're automatically going to have a hole in that position. We are going to need guys like Owens and Brailford to step up and prove to us that they can help fill that hole.
ST: Matt Ammendola AKA YouTube Kid. And to me, his name will be YouTube Kid until he earns his real name back (you gotta be tough on kickers. You know, to get them used to the pressure.) Ben Grogan is fine. His name used to be "OMG not Grogan. Noooooo," but has since earned his name back with me.
Offense it's Barry J. Sanders. I know it's the obvious pick, but if it's not him it's Chris Carson. Defense I'll go with Ashton Lampkin. We'll see if he's ready to transition to taking on the Big 12 best week after week. Jalen McCleskey muffed a lot of punts last year. I'd like to see him not give me a heart attack every time he fields a punt.
On offense I will go off the radar a bit. I want to see how good Keenen Brown can be at Cowboy Back after being plucked from the receiver corps. I know that Blake Jarwin will probably start but Brown (a former four-star receiver) could be a big time playmaker from that position if he can help in protection. We know he's ready to put in the work as the redshirt sophomore reportedly put on over 30 pounds in a year. I just think you should get as many playmakers on the field as possible and I think this was a great idea by the coaching staff.
On defense I will say the defensive ends. I know that's cheating. But I think it's been a little understated what OSU is replacing. You have one of the best players to ever hang his helmet in Stillwater in Ogbah and a very solid end in Bean who could have been close to double digit sacks had a knee injury not derailed his senior season.
Jordan Brailford, Trey Carter and Jarrell Owens. All three sophomores will have to step up. We also have Colt Walterscheid who missed most of last season due to injury and Vili Leveni (who I still think could be switched over to the end) who missed all of 2015 due to injury.
The point is that the Cowboys will have to replace a lot on the edges. We may very well see how much they miss their two defensive pillars from last year.
Okay, I know I'm being long-winded. On special teams I'll keep it short. I'll go with whoever ends up at punt returner. I think it will be an open competition this fall and Mike Gundy knows how important it is to have a playmaker in that position.