August 31, 2010

Fall Renewal - OSU can build momentum

The time has finally arrived.

After months and months of waiting, countless thoughts running through your mind, the game of football is back this weekend. It's only a mere three days and change away from Oklahoma State's season-opener against Washington State in Stillwater.

It's about time, huh?

This time of year is so magic, probably because the possibilities are endless. Winning the Big 12? It's on the table. Beating Oklahoma and Texas? This is the year. A Cowboy earning high national recognition? It could happen.

While spring is technically the season of renewal, fall is the season of redemption. Last year's season-ending embarrassments to OU and Ole Miss? This is the time to make good. That injury taking away your effectiveness in 2009? Time for a Kendall Hunter to overcome and show how great he can be again. Mike Gundy being questioned after his program has showed more and more success over time? A chance to back it up again. Proving you're not too old to still play with the boys? Brandon Weeden is days away from showing what he can do.

That's what is so special about football - everyone has a chance at redemption.

The Cowboys are on a mission to prove the last two seasons can be built on and extended. OSU, historically, is not a 9-win program. In the grand scheme of history, that win total is an exception to the norm. But the OSU program and orange faithful say the norm is changing. This is the time of year to back it up.

And OSU's first chance to show what it's made of in 2010 comes against the Cougars on Saturday. This program was tough a decade or so ago, with two Rose Bowl appearances in six years and big-time quarterback names such as Drew Bledsoe and Ryan "Anger Management" Leaf. Mike Price had built a quality team up on the Palouse.

But no more. The program, led by 1990 Wazzu graduate Paul Wulff, has won three games in his two seasons at the helm. He's the anti-Gundy: a proud school graduate who came home to try and revive his alma mater's football team - with disastrous results to this point. He is 3-22; compare that to Gundy's 36-27 mark. The Cougars come to Stillwater out-classed in nearly every way - their mental psyche can't be too great heading to Orange Country as improvement doesn't seem to be anywhere near them this season. With tough road games in Stillwater and at SMU - not to mention the usual tough Pac-10 slate - the Coogs appear headed to another low-win total season.

This game should be a great opportunity for OSU to post a big win over a BCS conference opponent. While it is just Washington State, they still play in a big league and that counts for something. This game is a chance for Dana Holgorsen's offense to rack up some yards right out of the gate; it's a chance for Bill Young's unit to show continued growth and progress.

So, here we are, yet another fall full of possibilities. The crisp, cool days are ahead and a dozen football Saturdays are at hand. What does this season hold? We're about to find out.

Justin Wilmeth is the editor of OStateIllustrated.com. He can be contacted via e-mail at justin@ostate.com.
Follow him on Twitter! @JWilOSI


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