Oklahoma State’s talent impresses other Big 12 coaches, but the Cowboys aren’t considered to be the best team in the league.
An anonymous poll of Big 12 coaches conducted by Athlonsports.com indicates the Cowboys are perceived as a good but not great team by leaders of the Big 12’s other programs.
Here’s a sampling of what they had to say about the Cowboys:
On Oklahoma State’s talent:
“They’re the second-best team on paper.”
On Oklahoma State’s grittiness, particularly after the loss to Central Michigan last season:
“They showed me a lot of moxie last year in the teams they beat and how they won games. There have been a number of years where they’ve been good, but you just didn’t feel like they had the character to go on the road and win a tough game against a team that was playing well. They showed me more gumption than what they normally have coming back from losing to Central Michigan in that fashion to finish the way they did.”
On last season’s 10-3 record:
“Winning 10 is a huge statement about where that program is and with what they’ve got coming back offensively and playing Oklahoma at home this year, it lines up for them to maybe sneak in there.”
On Mason Rudolph:
“Their biggest thing is the QB. Very talented kid, fits well with what they do on offense, and I’m impressed with how he leads their team.”
On their growing strength in the trenches:
“They’ve gotten so much better up front. They used to be really bad on the offensive line, but they’d still be good because they were creative and they’d find ways to circumvent it. Now they’re real solid up front, and that makes them a much more formidable football team.”
On Oklahoma State’s defensive expectations:
“Defensively, they lost quite a few guys. I’d guess that personnel-wise they’re not as good as what they have been. When you go man-to-man and look at their D, there’s not enough impact-type players, so they’ve dropped off a little bit there. They don’t do too much defensively but enough to make them difficult to prepare for.”
Overall analysis of the Cowboys:
“It’s a salty team and the strengths are the quarterback and offensive line. The weaknesses are the defensive line and getting a couple new guys in the secondary.”
There were enough negatives noted in the report to provide Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy with plenty of bulletin board material as the season continues.