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Cowboys need happy new year

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Happy new year, sports fans.

No one needs a good ’08 more than Oklahoma State football.

Watch my latest video commentary or read below:

How will we look back on the Oklahoma State Cowboys in 2007?

There’s one more game to come, of course. The Insight Bowl kicks off only a few hours before the new year rings in. A win against Indiana, and the Cowboys finish 7-6. A loss, and they finish 6-7. Either way, their record will be no better this season than it was a season ago. Could be worse, could be the same.

So, what does that say about the state of O-State? Have the Cowboys progressed or regressed? Have they moved forward or just treaded water this season?

Wins and losses won’t tell the whole story, though it will surely be a black mark against the current regime if this squad finishes with a losing record. In a year that the Cowboys were expected to be a dark horse to contend not only in the Big 12 but also in the country, a losing season isn’t acceptable.

But even if the Cowboys finish with a winning record, the best they can say is that they treaded water this season.

The same problems that plagued this program a year ago continue to plague it. Inconsistent play is an issue the Cowboys just can’t seem to overcome. You just never knew what kind of performance to expect, and that is the sign of a programs still searching for solid footing.

Also, the defense remains a problem. First-year defensive coordinator Tim Beckman looks like an improvement over Vance Bedford, but the production on the field sure hasn’t improved much.

Then, there are the games that the Cowboys weren’t that competitive. A year ago, the only game you could say that about was Texas. By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, you knew OSU had no chance. This year, that happened much more often. Troy. Kansas. Oklahoma. Even the game at Georgia was pretty much over by the final frame.

So, no matter what the Cowboys’ final record says, 2007 was no better than 2006. Call it worse. Call it the same. But you can’t call it better.

Safe to say, if anyone needs a happy 2008, it’s the Cowboys.

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Jenni Carlson

Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football... Read more ›