Richetti Jones: Time To Start Over

Once again it's college football time and what a great time it is to be an Oklahoma State Cowboy. The Cowboys are coming off of a historical season in 2011 finishing as Big 12 and Fiesta Bowl champions. This is the first time the Cowboys will be entering the season as defending Big 12 champs and expectations are at an all-time high.

The current Cowboy football program compared to the program I came to in 2007 is like trying to compare night and day. Coach Gundy and his staff had a long road to travel to get the program to where it is today.

I came to OSU in a time I describe as the Dark Age, when the luxuries the players have now as far as practice, equipment, facilities, overall treatment, etc., were not the same. I must say I have to give credit to Coach Gundy and his staff, along with previous players and leaders who left a positive impact on Oklahoma State's football program and have helped OSU get to this level.

When Coach Gundy came back to OSU as the head coach, it was clear that he was on a mission to get players who were the type of individuals he wanted to build a winning program around. Players who have great character, work ethic, who want to do everything right, guys that are used to winning and who want to graduate from college. These are the type of guys Coach Gundy has brought in and who have helped take Oklahoma State's football program to the next level.

Taking all of this into consideration, let's jump into what really makes the Cowboys dominate on Saturday. After the amazing victory in the Fiesta Bowl, everyone was happy and excited. All Cowboy fans couldn't wait for the next season.

Well, three weeks after that great victory the Cowboys were right back on the grind (off-season workouts) as if nothing had ever happened. They were now focused on their training and striving to win another Big 12 championship in 2012.

People really don't know what football players go through year round to perform to the best of their abilities during football season. Like in any great franchise or business, I'm not about to give you the full recipe to success for the Cowboys but I will leave you with a little insight into the daily operations of a winning football program.

Out of a whole year, OSU football players might only get a month and a half off spread over a year's time frame. It is really more like 3 ½ weeks for guys who stay the month of May. Year around the players are striving to be the best and go to the next level which is the NFL.

It is hard work for the football players not just in season but the offseason as well. The players enjoy the actual football season just as much as the fans, because playing on Saturday is the easy part, but everything else leading up to football season is nothing but hard work.

So, as this season begins, I would like for everyone to take time to reflect on the past and appreciate what you will see from the Cowboys this season. This is a new season and expectations are high. It is going to be a great one.

(This is the first installment of a new weekly feature where you will read the thoughts and opinions of former Cowboys defensive end Richetti Jones. Check back weekly during the football season to get Jones' insightful commentary.)

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