Summer is great, isn’t it?
Cookouts... Baseball... Unbearably hot Oklahoma weather. Ok, maybe not the last one.
But summer is also the time when that quintessential preseason optimism for football is at an all-time high.
We know you’re chomping at the bit. ‘Cause we are too. So let’s dig into some football.
Name one thing you would change about OSU’s football program. (Not a better running game. Like, staff, coaching/recruiting philosophies, etc.)
I would like to see Gundy stop being ultra conservative in big moments.
85-18-7...well, you did say "etc."
This is tough. I really like where the program is right now. The only thing that kind of sucks is the "little brother" factor. Will we ever step out from our "big brother's" (OU) shadow? I'm not sure. We will likely never be the big brother, but if we can keep up this recruiting momentum we have, we may be able to become a separate destination university in the state of Oklahoma. Think Auburn / Alabama. Auburn has truly stepped out from underneath Alabama and has built their own 5 star powerhouse. They aren't over Alabama, they aren't under. They are just different. That should be our goal if it isn't already.
GoT REFERENCE**** Right now we are the Bran Stark of Oklahoma football. While Jon Snow (OU) is off becoming King of the North, we are a bit forgotten, but have a loyal following. However, we are training to be the three-eyed raven so that, one day, we can step out and be of our own importance. TU is definitely Rickon Stark hahaha! There was your Game of Thrones reference, and we are now officially a sports blog.
I'd like to see more commitment and consistency with how we handle special teams from a staffing perspective. When we had one of the great special teams coordinators, you could tell. It seems like lately it hasn't been a priority, and you can tell.
I’ve thought for a while that OSU could potentially be selling themselves short in the recruiting game. We saw how overmatched we were against Baylor and in Bedlam last year just in terms of "football players." Those teams put together a team of physical specimens. Granted, I’m thankful OSU's program is held to a higher standard, and won’t be compromised by the allure of championships. That said, I think with the facilities and success of late, OSU should be making grounds in recruiting (and they’re heading the right direction in 2017).
Wow, Christopher brings up a great point. The return game has been especially underwhelming since you know who left.
As far as the "little brother" mentality, I’m over it as well. Let’s play to win, not to not lose.
Oh, yeah. Fix the run game.
The defensive line lost some studs but is finally gaining depth inside. How good can the d-line be and what younger guys do you see making the biggest impact on the edge?
Jarrell Owens is a stud and he has earned the respect of teammates. I think he's poised for a big year.
Ok, I suppose I'll have to offer a serious response to this question...
The real hero is Joe Bob Clements. What he has done is nothing short of phenomenal. As for the names, my expectations would be that Trey Carter and Jarrell Owens, who both sport NFL frames, would assert themselves on the outside. While much lighter, Jordan Brailford and Cole Walterscheid should get plenty of action given the DE's are only 2 deep on each side. Another name that might be critical is Vili Leveni. He originally came in as a DE, but bulked up and moved to DT to help with depth. Now that OSU has six DT's carrying 300+ lbs each on the roster, Leveni could return to the outside to bolster that rotation. It will be interesting to see how he comes back from the Achilles injury. Of 12 defensive linemen, OSU has only two seniors and three juniors on the roster, so this group is going to be strong for at least the next two seasons.
I think the interior D-line is one of the best that we've had in a while with Vincent Taylor leading the group. I see Jarrell Owens stepping into that pass rushing role that we lost from last season. Just don't expect Ogbah dominance.
I'm excited about the defensive line. There is talent and depth, which we've rarely had in combination. I really want to see Vili Leveni come back and have success, whether that ends up being on the interior or the edge. As far as the younger guys, I think we are going to need all Carter, Brailford, and Owens to have really solid seasons. They have massive massive shoes to fill. We don't need any of them to be Ogbah, but we need them all to be good.
I’m with Christopher on this one. I really like the potential that Jarrell Owens and Jordan Brailford displayed last season when they shared reps while filling in for Jimmy Bean. We may see a drop off in terms of production, but I think the edge will still be solid. They are now going to both be redshirt sophomores, so they should be ready for Division-1 football (both physically and mentally).
I like Robert’s point on Leveni. I’ve thought he could be an x-factor on this defense for a while. Vincent Taylor, Darrion Daniels and Motekiai Maile make up a solid interior and I see this run defense improving from seventh in the Big 12 last year.
What equals a successful season in your mind? (Wins? Playoff berth? Bowls?)
11 wins and a berth in a New Year's 6 bowl for the second straight season.
It all starts with beating OU (I'm an old school knucklehead...)
I'm not sure whether to get my hopes up on this season, or not. I think we need to compete for the Big 12 Championship, get to a major bowl game, and WIN that bowl game. Ole Miss still has me salty.
A 10-2 regular season would be hard to be disappointed with. Being in the chase for the Big 12 title, finishing the season in the top 15 in the country, and getting back to winning our bowl game would make for a pretty good Spring.
I would consider anything over 10 wins to be a success. OSU has made strides in the last few years, even from the 2011 team. I think OSU is on the cusp of building a perennial Big 12 title contending team, even though they may already be there. The Big 12’s best teams have gotten better from 2011, and OSU won 12 games that season. I think the benchmark going forward for OSU football is 10 wins. It is for OU, and it is for Texas. OSU has the facilities to match them, and I think they are really close to being a traditional power in the conference. So, yeah, in a totally roundabout way, 10 wins would be a successful season.
Ten wins is the mark for me. That gets them a decent bowl game. I think that should be universally accepted as a success, especially considering the tough road schedule. Baylor looks like a mess now but the last thing the Cowboys want to do is underestimate the players they still have on roster. Oh yeah, and you're heading to Ft. Worth and Norman too.