Mon, Jul 22, 2013
DALLAS, TX -- Mike Gundy's Oklahoma State Cowboys went to Big 12 Media Days in 2012 as the reigning Big 12 champs. They arrived at this year's gathering as the league favorite.
Signs of a shift in power in the Big 12?
"I think there's been some growth in the program," said Gundy. "I think it's a tribute to the players that have been before this group, the young men that are on our team now, and the ones in the future. They've got a lot to look forward to.
This year they look forward to a season-opening matchup in Houston with Mississippi State out of the SEC.
"It certainly changes our approach as a coaching staff," Gundy said, "The truth of the matter is we know that, when you play an opponent that on paper is going to have as good a players -- we could debate SEC versus Big 12, and we could start lining them up and going head-to-head on paper, but we all know the parity that's in the Big 12 and the SEC that when you play an opponent that's in the category that Oklahoma State's in and Mississippi State's in, that you have to play well in the first game to win. I think we would all agree on that."
THE RODNEY DANGERFIELD EFFECT
Two years ago, the Big 12 media picked Kansas State to finish eighth and the Wildcats finished second. Last year they were picked sixth and they won the conference.
This year the media picked Kansas State to finish sixth again. That's probably the way Wildcats coach Bill Snyder likes it.
"I think I said last year that, if I were given the opportunity, I would have picked us 99th," said Snyder. "As I look at it this year right now where we stand, I'd probably echo the same thought. It's precarious trying to make those kinds of decisions as the season gets started. Our program is no different than any other in that the dynamics of the program change year in and year out regardless of how many you do or do not have returning. It's just a different environment, and I would suggest that it's just a difficult task."
COWBOYS THE CHOICE
The media picked Oklahoma State to win the conference, beating out in-state rival Oklahoma.