2012 Program Preview - Oklahoma St.

Farewell. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Yes, the season has started, but we're still going to get through the BCS teams. Might be even more useful with a game or two to clarify the remaining programs.

Well where do we go from here, T. Booners? Last year brought us to a new peak in the history of Oklahoma State football. Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon provided the firepower to an offense that ranked second in points per game (West Virginia was 13th, and Dana Holgorsen is still really ashamed). In 2012, they'll have to lean on a defense that returns plenty of experience and talent when not torching the Savannah States of the world.

Still, it's fair to wonder when we'll see OSU repeat the success of last year. If ever.

After the jump, the prospects worth noting as well as some games and matchups to pencil into your calendar.

References

Cowboys Ride For Free (SB Nation Oklahoma State community), SB Nation team page, official team site, Bill Connelly's preview for SBN, CBS Sports preview

Notable offensive prospects

Name POS Yr. Early projected Rd (notes)
Joseph Randle
RB
RS Sr.
5
Tracy Moore
WR
Sr.
7
Lane Taylor
G
RS Sr. UD
Isaiah Anderson WR
RS Sr. UD
Jonathan Rush G
RS Sr. UD
Parker Graham
OT
RS Jr. UD


Notable defensive prospects

Name POS Yr. Early projected Rd (notes)
Brodrick Brown
CB
RS Sr. 7
Nigel Nicholas
DE/DT
RS Sr. UD
Justin Gilbert CB
Jr. 3
Shaun Lewis OLB
Jr. 6
Caleb Lavey
ILB
Jr. 6
Shamiel Gary
SS
RS Jr. UD


Summary

As to be expected, the defensive side of the ball gets the nod here. Oklahoma State has a very strong secondary and a stuff linebacking corps. Their recent on-field successes have helped the recruiting process, though they're still not top 15 material. I wouldn't be surprised if that changes, should Oklahoma St. successfully manage the post-Weeden transition.

Key games

Texas (home) - Week 5 (Sat., Sep. 29 - TBD)

The Cowboys have a light schedule early on, and with a bye week before this one, Mike Gundy will have plenty of time to prep the team for this huge contest in Stillwater. Similarly for Texas, they have a soft early trio and bye week through the first four weeks. Right now, they're 17th and 18th in the AP. Yeah, this one looms large.

Oklahoma (away) - Week 13 (Sat., Nov. 24 - TBD)

As I said in the Oklahoma preview, it's Bedlam. That's sufficient.

Key matchups

OT Parker Graham v. Texas DE Jackson Jeffcoat, Week 5 - Sat., Sep. 29

Jeffcoat's a top DE prospect. If Graham can at least keep Jeffcoat from completely taking QB Wes Lunt out of sync with the offense, he'll have a performance that could catapult him into stronger day three discussions.

CBs Brodrick Brown & Justin Gilbert v. Oklahoma WRs Kenny Stills & Trey Metoyer, Week 13 - Sat., Nov. 24

Oklahoma St. offers one of the best cornerback duos in the country in Brown and Gilbert. On the other hand, Stills and Metoyer look like the best WR duo in the conference. This should be required viewing ahead of the 2013 NFL Draft.

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