Ready For Cowboys Football: Intro

This is a three-part, one-day series that is available only from GoPokes.com. We usually spread a series like this out over a week but we will jam pack it into one day as today is the one-week mark before the season begins.

A week from today many of us will be biding our time watching other games in hotel rooms while waiting for the time to drive to AT&T Stadium to watch the new version of the Oklahoma State Cowboys kickoff the 2014 season against the most powerful opponent the program has faced in the Mike Gundy era of OSU football.

I know, some will claim Stanford as being just as good, or maybe that Texas team that won the national championship in Gundy's first year as head coach. I don't think so. I think this Florida State team that has potentially four to six first-round NFL Draft picks for next year's draft and possibly as many as 11 to 15 future first-round picks in the next three NFL Drafts.

It's hard to argue with those kind of projections. Plus, they have a freshman kicker that won the Lou Groza Award and won't be a first-round pick because kickers don't get picked in the first round.

As I write this the Cowboys are wrapping up a very warm morning inside Boone Pickens Stadium with their annual "mock game." The practice is non-contact with a game day flair to it. There is piped in crowd audio and noise coming through the speaker system and the players wear game day uniforms, so "Chief" Davis, Justin Williams, and their team of equipment managers can make sure everything fits and works.

Headphones and communications are tested. Mike Gundy even gives a pre-practice address as he prepares his game day routine. It is scripted with all kinds of crazy happening from a delay in the game (mimicking a potential power outage or a weather situation) to overtime at the end. All the weirdness on the script is so that in a real game players won't be thrown off by the strange and unusual. This kind of exercise is even more critical when you have a team of young players.

Our three-story series will focus on these topics: players and the youth of Oklahoma State and Florida State as well as the experienced players and how it blends together; coaches and a story you might not know about Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher; and finally what I think needs to happen for Oklahoma State to be hanging around in the fourth quarter and have a chance to win a game virtually nobody in America outside the OSU dressing room thinks they have a chance to win.

The Cowboys are cooling off from this morning's mock game and will have most of the afternoon off before starting the game week routine with Sunday meetings and a light evening practice. You have work to do because Part One of our little series will be up and running shortly.


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