Friday, January 27, 2012
Offseason to-do list: Oklahoma State
We're taking a look at what each program in the Big 12 needs to deal with during the offseason, whether it be in the spring, summer or fall preseason camp. Maybe all three! Who knows?
1. Don't get comfortable. Congratulations, you just won your first Big 12 title. Guess what? Now everybody wants to beat you a whole lot more. It took a whole lot of work for Oklahoma State to scale the league's mountain, and it has to remember how hard that was. Forget it, and get complacent? Ask Texas how easy it is to replace the number of big-time contributors on a team good enough to win the national title. The two biggest reasons for the Big 12 title run, Justin Blackmon and Brandon Weeden, are gone. New players have to work with that same sense of purpose.
2. Find a quarterback. Losing Blackmon and Josh Cooper isn't as big of a concern. OSU has a lot of talent at receiver. But at quarterback? For now, there's no question filling Weeden's void is a huge question mark. All three guys vying for the spot — Clint Chelf, J.W. Walsh and Wes Lunt — have potential, but Weeden shattered all kinds of records and will be tough to replace. Additionally, will the offense change with more experience at running back? That's up to Todd Monken. This year will be a much tougher test than last year, which Monken compared to being handed the keys to a Ferrari.
3. Solidify the offensive line. You've got to like offensive line coach Joe Wickline's ability to make this happen, and there's plenty of promise in the rising offensive linemen. Parker Graham has especially impressed older players. Tackle Levy Adcock, center Grant Garner and guard Nick Martinez are all gone. Adcock was the most talented player on the line and Garner made the whole machine work. Like Weeden, they leave enormous holes. This group will have to do what the unit in 2010 did: Grow during the season after figuring who'll be in the lineup by the season opener.