Top 25 Intel: No. 10 Oklahoma State
The Cowboys and their stunningly well-balanced offense could be the nation's best.
In his time at Oklahoma State, a period coinciding with the program's significant rise up the BCS ranks and into the national consciousness, head coach Mike Gundy has developed a reputation as a bit of a mad genius on offense.
There he was last year, sitting behind players and coaches, going over offensive plays and schemes with his head down -- while his defense was on the field. Yep, the game's going on, and Gundy's paying no attention to the action, deep in thought about the elaborate strategies to come. He's a college football Willy Wonka, a mad genius brainstorming in the shadows while his orange and white disciples implement his orders.
Or maybe not.
"We're not good enough in any one area to be able to concentrate solely on that," Gundy says. "And across the conference, the fact that the QBs are so good has made it that they can handle the styles necessary to run [the offense] so well. You can also say the run has allowed us and other teams to throw it so well."
In saying this, Gundy is explaining both the Big 12's Arena League-like offensive efficiency and scoring, and the almost absurd level of balance he's managed with his own offense. Put it this way: Oklahoma State might not have had the top offense in the country last year -- it was sixth in total offense at 488 yards per game -- but its stunning balance means it might have had the best. The Pokes can simply do it all.
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INSIDER TOP 25 INTEL
Insider takes you inside the stats and the coaching strategies that both justify Mark Schlabach's preseason Top 25 rankings and could lead to a higher one in the fall: