Or, maybe it’s better said that the article highlights who Okie State ISN’T bringing back? From the article:
–Oklahoma State will be replacing their star quarterback, Zac Robinson.
–They’ll also be replacing four of five senior starters on the offensive line.
–Their starting running back, who gained nearly 1,200 yards last year, was a senior.
–Two of the four starting defensive linemen need to be replaced, three if you count a senior defensive end who started six games according to the official OSU site.
–In the defensive backfield, three of the four starters were seniors in 2009.
–All three OSU starting linebackers last year? They were seniors.
— On special teams, Oklahoma State will return their punter, placekicker and long snapper. Both the return men, however, were seniors.
All told in 2010, of the starting eleven on both sides of the ball, Okie State according to various media reports will be returning just four starters on offense, three starters on defense.
Wow. I know, I know. It’s early. And we’ll probably see Okie State as a 21-point favorite when the first betting lines hit for next year. We’ll take a harder look at Okie State later this spring, after they conclude their spring practice sessions. And by the looks of it, it’s going to be an awfully important spring in Stillwater, for there should be a lot of jockeying for all the open positions!
Meanwhile, Nick Daschel of Buster Sports has been ranking some positions around the Pac-10 as we head towards spring ball. Running backs here, QB’s here, linebackers here. Daschel breaks things down from “Wealthy”, “Healthy”, and “Needs a Six Month Spring”. And from a WSU perspective, no, he’s not real high on any of these positions:
QBs: Washington State sophomore Jeff Tuel took some licks as a true freshman in 2009. There’s talent there, but whether it emerges has a lot to do with the questionable cast surrounding Tuel on offense.
RBs: What does it say about the state of Washington State football that it loses the first running back in school history to lead the team in rushing four consecutive years (Dwight Tardy), and no one is complaining? James Montgomery could be the answer if he’s able to bounce back from a scary injury of a year ago. It’s not a pretty sight in the backfield in Pullman, however.
So there you go. Now I’m not going to say Daschel is misguided here, I’m really not. But this is probably just the first real string of media previews that you are going to see that will certainly have WSU at the bottom of the conference, in pretty much everything. It is just the way it is, and until they can actually turn things around on the field, it won’t change.
And he’s pretty much right, isn’t he? On Tuel, so much is going to depend on what goes on around him for him to take a step forward. And James Montgomery is pretty good, but again, he’s coming off the tough leg injury and we have no idea if he’ll be the same player next fall, and like Tuel, again, so much depends on what is happening in front of him to have a chance. And the linebackers should be much improved, and we’ll get to them later, but when you were one of the worst defenses in the country in ’09, there isn’t much room for optimism.
But this isn’t to say that 2010 is a disaster before it even starts! There is so much talk of improvement behind the scenes, and who knows, maybe we see the big step Paul Wulff has been talking about, and we see it sooner rather than later. There are some good young players in the program, players who took their lumps the last year or two, but they are going to get better. It’s just easy right now to get negative simply based on what has happened, instead of thinking of the promise of tomorrow.
All for now. Go COUGS!