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Cirminiello: Not buying into Oklahoma State

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Nov 7, 2011


Week 10 Thoughts: Cirminiello - Not buying into Oklahoma State yet


 

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Week 10  Thoughts, Nov. 7 

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- Cirminiello: Not buying into Oklahoma State yet
- Fiutak: Does Oklahoma deserve to be in the BCS hunt?
- Harrison: Joe Paterno's on-field issues  
- Zemek: Joe Paterno's off-field issues
- Sallee: Missouri's move to the SEC
- Johnson: Weeden deserves the Heisman hype
    
E-mail Richard Cirminiello

And this year’s Oregon is … Oklahoma State.

Sorry, Stillwater, but I’m just not buying your team as a legit National Championship contender. Oh, I know how close the Cowboys are to the top of the BCS mountain, and I love watching Mike Gundy’s squad in action. However, you don’t win this sport’s top prize without occasionally bloodying the other guy’s nose with a stout defensive effort. When was the last time someone hoisted the hardware with a middling defense? Heck, even the 2010 Auburn squad, a so-so D, had enough talent to hold Oregon about four touchdowns below its regular season average in January’s title tilt.

Obviously, Oklahoma State has enough offensive firepower to win the Big 12. Oh, and the defense is an extremely opportunistic bunch dotted with underrated players, like S Markelle Martin, LB Shaun Lewis and DE Jamie Blatnick. And yes, the pace of the attack makes life a lot tougher on the defenders. Still, give an SEC powerhouse, such as LSU, a month to prepare, and the Cowboys will look nothing like the team that’s carving up everything in its path during the regular season.

Yeah, we’ll spend countless hours discussing why the Pokes can be the team that snaps the SEC’s headlock on the national title, but in the end, QB Brandon Weeden will wilt in the face of the Tigers’ incessant pressure. And defensive backs Morris Claiborne, Tyrann Mathieu and Eric Reid will make All-American WR Justin Blackmon appear ordinary. On offense, LSU will gut the OSU front for more than 200 yards rushing, owning the tempo of the game.

Why look ahead to a mythical matchup when there’s still four pivotal weeks left in the regular season? Because I’m convinced that the rest of the year might be somewhat anticlimactic. Unless ‘Bama gets a rematch, you better pull out a tape of last year’s trip to Auburn or Arkansas if you want to see LSU lose a game. The Tigers are not going down this year, not to an Oklahoma State squad that lacks SEC physicality or to anyone else.

While I have respect and admiration for what Gundy continues to do in Stillwater, the team I watched against Kansas State on Saturday night is not going to win it all. The Cowboys are the kind of program you date instead of marrying. They’re fun, free-spirited and up for just about anything. They are not always solid and stable on D, which is still a job requirement for winning a national title.

- Cirminiello: Not buying into Oklahoma State yet
- Fiutak: Does Oklahoma deserve to be in the BCS hunt?
- Harrison: Joe Paterno's on-field issues  
- Zemek: Joe Paterno's off-field issues
- Sallee: Missouri's move to the SEC
- Johnson: Weeden deserves the Heisman hype