In a season where the Cowboys will be replacing a legendary quarterback and two 1,000 receivers, and installing a new defensive scheme with a new defensive coordinator they have somehow managed to squeeze their way into the preseason top 25.
The USA Today Amway Coaches Poll was released on Tuesday, with Oklahoma State ranked No. 25.
They join six other Big 12 teams either ranked or receiving votes:
No. 5 Oklahoma
No. 16 TCU
No. 20 West Virginia
No. 21 Texas
No. 25 Oklahoma State
RV Kansas State
RV Iowa State
*Can we pause a moment and appreciate that the “terrible” Big 12 actually looks like the deepest conference in college football. 50% of the conference’s teams are ranked in the Top 25 with two more in the top 50. Not bad for a league many still believe is FAR behind the Big 10 and SEC.
One has to think that a lot of what went into the decision to put the Cowboys in at No. 25 has to do with head coach Mike Gundy. What he’s done at Oklahoma State has given them a reputation as winners. He’s consistently gotten Oklahoma State to bowl games and led them to at least 10-wins the last three seasons in a row and in six of the last eight.
Even with the reputation that’s been established, the Cowboys aren’t usually ranked all that highly after top quarterback-wide receiver duos leave Stillwater.
Just go back to the last times OSU was in a similar situation; 2010, 2012, and 2014. In 2010 they started the season ranked 42nd. In 2012, 18th. In 2014, 30th. (Yes, I’m considering replacing Clint Chelf in 2014 a similar situation).
All that aside, it’s not every day you have a program that’s in OSU’s situation get put in the top 25. (unless your Texas who gets put in because Texas...) Now don’t get me wrong, it was a pleasant surprise to see OSU as a ranked team. It’s just too early to tell whether or not the ranking is deserved.
Here’s what the poll had to say about Oklahoma State’s outlook:
The Cowboys mostly lived on the arm of QB Mason Rudolph last year, but with his departure RB Justice Hill should carry the load of the offense. Most of the key contributors return on defense. DL Jordan Brailford has the potential to break out after six sacks last year.
This year marks the sixth time since 2010 that OSU has started a preseason ranked in the Top-25. Let’s see if, like most of the others, they can finish there as well.