Oklahoma State football is familiar with doing more with less.
Rivals.com named the Cowboys one of college football’s top overachievers on Monday, which should be no surprise to Oklahoma State fans.
The Cowboys are neither a notorious NFL factory like Alabama or Ohio State, nor a team that regularly dominates recruiting rankings.
Oklahoma State still produces wins and finishes inside or near the AP Top 25 almost every year with unheralded talent.
A program that has been particularly efficient with its talent in recent years, the Cowboys have won 10 games in four of the last five seasons but have only had two players selected in a single draft once during the same time span. In the three years that followed their 10-3 finish in 2013, OSU had just three total players drafted. Head coach Mike Gundy captured the 2011 Big 12 title despite having just five players selected in the next three NFL Drafts.
Rivals.com ranked Oklahoma State No. 2 on its list of college football’s five biggest overachievers.
Rivals ranked Duke its No. 1 overachiever. Credit Gundy for poaching defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, however, from the Blue Devils this offseason.
The formula for overachieving
The recruiting site used a “tale efficiency score” to determine the rankings.
The formula used to determine the score took certain measures of success (wins, AP Top 25 finishes, national championships, conference titles) and divided it by the number of draft picks the program has produced in the same time span. The formula only uses data since 2009.
Oklahoma State’s been one of the best in the country over the last decade at finding under-the-radar talent. Despite sending only 19 players to the NFL Draft since 2009, Oklahoma State remains one of the top teams in its league and the country.
The Cowboys are preparing for a transition year after losing a core group of seniors this offseason. But don’t count out Gundy’s program to overcome its lack of experience or “blue-chip prospects” on the field.
They’ve made a history of doing it before.