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Opinion: Why the way-too-early top 25 polls should cause Oklahoma State fans to calm down

Stop putting your extreme expectations on the 2020 Cowboys team.

Oklahoma State v Texas Tech Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images

All the confetti launched to celebrate LSU’s 42-25 national championship victory Monday in New Orleans hasn’t hit the ground yet, and we’re already looking ahead to next season.

Major sports publications have begun releasing their way-too-early Top 25 rankings for the 2020 season. It’s a silly practice, but also a good way to start looking at which teams to keep an eye on heading into spring practice.

As for Oklahoma State, while some are already clamoring “Big 12 Championship Game or bust,” not everyone in the national media agrees.

Publication Ranking
ESPN No. 13
Stadium No. 24
247 NR
USA Today NR
Athlon No. 19
The Athletic No. 15

These are the six publications I follow most and these predictions were created by writers I trust and follow (for the most part). To see four have OSU in their Top-25s — and none higher than No. 13 — should offer Cowboy fans a little dose of reality; don’t go expecting a 15-0 national championship winning season in 2020. Hell, don’t go demanding a Big 12 title.

There is plenty to be excited about for 2020; the return of a Biletnikoff finalist level receiver in Tylan Wallace. Another season to ooh and aah over the second best running back to ever don America’s brightest orange in Chuba Hubbard. A defense that returns pretty much everyone and seemed to turn a corner in 2019.

There is also plenty of reason for concern. Wallace is coming off ACL surgery. Spencer Sanders is coming off thumb surgery. The cornerback position is going to be inexperienced. OSU now has a first-time player-caller in Kasey Dunn running the offense. This is also a team that was 5-3 when all three of its offensive stars were healthy.

These way-too-early polls are silly and really mean nothing. They have no effect on the upcoming season. Teams will still change as more players announce they’re leaving for the NFL. Players will transfer and injuries will happen. There is a lot of time between now and Week 1 (or Week 0 if you’re into that sort of thing).

The point is this; OSU fans shouldn’t set expectations and ultimatums on the 2020 season so high that they’re unable to enjoy it. High expectations are fine. They’re deserved for this team. But sometimes like in 2017 they can cause fans to lose sight of what they have.

I’m hyped for OSU in 2020. I’m excited to see what they’re going to do. But I promise now to not let those feelings force my hope and expectations to an unfair level.