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Thursday Mailbag (4/12): Hot takes, revisiting the SWC and predicting the future.

Lots of great questions this week!

NCAA Football: Texas Christian at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

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Here we are again. Another Thirsty Thursday Mailbag Thursday. Thanks again to everyone for sending in their questions and picking my brain about Oklahoma State athletics and more.

Many recruits sign during the early period, which is open for a week in early November. After that, you have to wait until April 11 to sign, hence the lack of recruits.

Wait a second.... *checks calendar*

That was yesterday! The regular signing period for basketball is now open until May 16. That is the last day recruits are able to sign their National Letter of Intent.

So I’m not too worried about it at this point. There is still 34 days (counting today) before the deadline. I would guess that we will start seeing many of the remaining recruits come off the board in the next 2-3 weeks.

Out of the Top 50 2018 recruits, only six remain unsigned. One of those unsigned recruits is Courtney Ramey, a 4-star point guard out of Missouri. Mike Boynton has been aggressively pursuing Ramey for his roster rebuild, and Ramey is No. 40 on the Top 50 list. I hope Ramey commits to the Cowboys tomorrow, but I expect his commitment sometime in the next few weeks.

Spring ball just started, so we haven’t been told much about Mason Rudolph’s heir. However, I’m inclined to believe that the starting quarterback next season will NOT be Spencer Sanders.

On the spring roster, there are three quarterbacks listed: Taylor Cornelius, John Kolar and Keondre Wudtee. Here’s my live reaction to typing those names.

Granted, we haven’t seen a great sample of any QB over the past few years, but not a single one makes me confident as a starting captain of the offense.

That leaves us with the two new faces to the program - Spencer Sanders and Hawaii grad transfer Dru Brown. I already said Sanders is not the most logical choice, so that leaves us with Brown.

Brown had success at Hawaii. While he isn’t on campus for spring ball, this is less of an issue, as he’s had two years of college experience under his belt.

In my opinion, this spring will be a competition between Brown and Cornelius. Perhaps we see a J.W. Walsh-esque package involving the 6’6 232-lb redshirt senior?

In the exchange, Chris brought up a good point.

#BODYBYGLASS

In today’s game, the hits are hard and injuries are common. By spending a year becoming a human tank with Coach Glass, Sanders will be less susceptible to injuries when he pulls the handoff and scrambles on the RPOs or designed runs.

Grant Gunnell was a Texas A&M commit before decommitting in February. 247 lists Oklahoma State and Ohio State as the two most-likely schools to be rewarded with the service of the 2019 4-star. The dual-threat style of Spencer Sanders and the pro-style play of Gunnell would be a fun position battle over the summer of 2019.

Man, I am full of unpopular opinions today.

Gimme the Jazz in 6. I haven’t watched nearly the levels of NBA basketball as I used to, but I do know this. The Jazz are en fuego.

In the month of March, they scored less than 100 points only five times - and never scored less than 94. They were 12-3 in March, including a 9-0 run to start the month and the three losses were by a combined 12 points - including an overtime loss to the Spurs.

In April, they were 5-1, only dropping the final game of the season to the Portland Trail Blazers - the No. 3-seed in the Western conference. In all five wins, they averaged 117.2 ppg. Factor in the 102-93 loss and that drops to 113.2 ppg.

Utah is winning at the right time, and winning big. I’ll wager exactly $0 on the Jazz.

As for the Timberwolves, I’m on Cloud 9. The drought is over. The 7-year-old in me is eccstatic. I realize the Rockets will likely demolish us, even without Luc Mbah a Moute, but part of me doesn’t care.

We did it. We’re in. Don’t you dare call us Minnesotans fair-weather fans or bandwagon fans.

So, another sweep in the Big 12 - this time of Kansas State - paired with a midweek loss to Wichita State hasn’t really changed my answer from last week. Let’s revisit, shall we?

The baseball team is a bit of a mystery. We’ve seen them sweep TCU, but also lose 2-of-3 to Eastern Michigan (8-17). I don’t think we have seen what this team really is, but it’s a long season. We will find out shortly enough as we get into Big 12 play.

I think [baseball and softball] make it to postseason, but alas, no ultimate victory for either squad.

It appears this offense isn’t just a spurt. It’s here to stay. After losing the bats of Garrett McCain, Garrett Benge, Ryan Sluter and Dustin Williams, I’m more than pleasantly surprised with how potent this offense is. It was a bit of a question mark for me coming into the season.

However, the biggest downfall of this team is the inconsistency on the mound. Sure, Carson Teel might come in and throw 142 pitches and give up only one run in a gem of a game, but head coach Josh Holiday and pitching coach Rob Walton can’t be expecting that every outing.

Since the non-conference Bedlam game (which resulted in a 7-1 Poke victory), the Cowboys have gone 7-2, with both losses coming in heartbreaking fashion to Wichita State. In the first matchup, the Shockers got two runs in the seventh inning to down the Cowboys, then got eight of their total 10 runs in the final two innings in the midweek matchup this past week.

In that stretch, the offense has scored 72 runs, with the lowest total in one game being five. Any team that averages 8.0 runs per game should not be dropping games, but yet, games are closer than they should be. The Cowboys are averaging 8.0 runs per game, but are still winning game by three or less runs.

So, long story short, I’d like to see the pitching staff tighten up and allow fewer baserunners and fewer runs.

This is an interesting question.

Personally, I haven’t lived in Oklahoma long enough to see the spread of the Cowboy faithful in the state. Plus, in the nearly 3 years I’ve been here, I’ve been to OKC exactly 3 times and the times I’ve been to Tulsa is somewhere in the 6-8 range.

But I have seen the spread in my travels between the Great White North (Minnesota) and back. I don’t have a problem wearing my Cowboy garb deep in the heart of Golden Gopher country. In fact, I see a couple people in my area that I don’t know wearing OSU stuff.

When I left home in the summer/fall of 2015, I was prepared to not know anyone and have little connection to people. To this day, I’m still amazed at how many Minnesota and Iowa license plates I see around campus. The number of out-of-state students is incredible, and they definitely help contribute to the spread of the OSU brand.

On a more somber note, I think the tragedies that Oklahoma State has endured - the Homecoming Tragedy in 2015 being the most recent - also extends the brand. National media reports on the tragedies, and people across the nation see how the Oklahoma State family responds to them and bonds together even tighter, and common fans at least recognize the brand and/or become fans themselves because they see what the Cowboy family is like and want to be a part of it - if only symbolically. I could be wayyyyy off, but I believe it pulls at the heartstrings and people recognize the Cowboys when they see it.

The fact that our major sports - football and basketball - are relatively good and getting national media attention on the sports side. Technology is incredible, and people in Montana or Minnesota or Alaska or Australia can get the same information and see the same things that we see in Oklahoma - to an extent.

*googles former members of the Southwest Conference* (No, I’m not kidding.)

Speaking for an entire fanbase has never backfired in history before, right? Well, let’s run through the list.

  • Phillips is no longer a school, and hasn’t been since I was 2 years old, so they are out.
  • OU is obviously out, and any Oklahoma State fan that disagrees with me needs to be checked for lunacy.
  • Baylor would have been a dark horse for me if I was asked the question back when I first got to Oklahoma State, but with the seemingly never-ending scandal and the embarrassing handling of it, they are not my pick.
  • Southwestern was only in the league for one year before leaving.
  • Rice’s mascot is the Owls, and owls, while being wise and intriguing, still creep me out.
  • SMU is one of those schools that can be good and surprise a team, but the Mustangs were my high school’s rivals, so can’t go that route.
  • Houston is another dark horse. I like watching the Cougars on TV when I can, and I think that football program is on the rise. However, they were not in the SWC with the Oklahoma A&M Aggies, so are they even eligible?
  • Texas Tech is also disqualified, as they joined the SWC 31 years after OA&M moved to the Missouri Valley Conference. Even if they were eligible, they wouldn’t be my pick because of the fanbase. Red Raider fans are loud and obnoxious, and they think they invented literally everything. Really. There’s probably a Red Raider somewhere telling everyone how they invented water.
  • Arkansas isn’t my pick either. I don’t really have a good reason, and Oklahoma State and Arkansas are tied together with Eddie Sutton, but I just can’t do it.
  • Texas A&M betrayed the Big 12 and left for the SEC. How’s mediocrity treating you? Enjoy Jimbo Fischer, and hopefully everyone forgets about that undated national championship trophy you presented to him without him ever coaching a game.
  • Texas is my runner-up. I know that the states of Texas and Oklahoma have a history of not getting along, but as a Minnesota kid, that doesn’t bother me. I think Tom Herman has that football program headed in the right direction, but he better hope he doesn’t run into a team of old lockers.
  • That leaves TCU. Believe me, it’s not a Horned Frogs victory by default. I genuinely like the athletics program they have over there. TCU provides good competition and runs a good program. TCU is my second-favorite athletic program in the Big 12. They have a classy fanbase and are fun to play.

That’s it for this week’s mailbag! Thanks to all for sending in questions. If you have a question, but are worried that you may forget them throughout the week, feel free to send them as a DM to either myself (@TDWiederhoeft) or to the main account (@CowboysRFF).

Have a good Thursday and Go Pokes!