5 Questions about OSU Sports

1. Will the Cowgirls win more than eight games? The answer really should be that they should already be at 13 or 14 wins, and gearing up for a run at the Big 12 tournament. Reality is what we live in, so I have to say they will get eight, but maybe not more than 10. I was optimistic after the win against Texas Tech and following it up with Iowa State, but after back-to-back losses on the road to the two worst teams in the Big 12, it made the question come up.

The Cowgirls are coming off a loss to the team I think should be No. 1 in the country and they must now go back on the road to Nebraska. OSU is winless on the road and will probably remain that way unless you want to count a possible win at the Big 12 tournament in Dallas. The Cowgirls should win against Missouri at home on Saturday, but after that the wins could be as hard to find as a team to beat Texas. This team has enough talent to be headed to the NCAA tournament, but instead will be headed to a television to see what everybody else is doing. I would love to see this team surprise everyone and make a late run, but life in the Big 12 is harder than anyone can imagine, and it would be legendary if they pulled it off. This is not take away from the players or coaches, but the team is still developing and within a few years, Julie Goodenough should lead a team to the ladies version of March Madness.

2. Will softball and baseball start before March?

With both teams already hovering in or around the Top 25 in both sports, when will fans get to start watching the teams produce? Softball players were told they were going to begin play last week. The groundhog saw his shadow and then the temperature dropped and snow fell from the sky. The Cowgirl softball team has already cancelled four scrimmages due to weather and the weather outlook for this week is sketchy. There is no snow in the forecast, but the temperature could play a big part if it drops lower than expected warms. The softball team is loaded with new talent, and with the loss of All-American pitcher Lauren Bay, the team has to find a new pitcher to fill big shoes. Someday fans will get a chance to see them play. As for the boys of summer, their season is scheduled to begin on Friday against Eastern Michigan, and the way the weather looks they should be able to play. It will be interesting to see what happens under new coach Frank Anderson and his new pitching staff. If the games are not played this week due to weather, the team travels pretty much the rest of the month, so it may March until we get a good look at the Cowboys.

3. Does the football recruiting class mean anything right now?

The answer to this is „yes‰ and „no.‰ It‚s easy to look at next season‚s schedule and say the team might be able to go bowling at 6-5. Take away Rashaun Woods, part of the defensive line and backfield, and this team could easily loss seven or eight. With all the departures, and the possible opening at quarterback, the new recruits could be playing as starters this August instead of next season. This class is being labeled the best group to ever come in at once, and looking at the list of recruits, there are two who stand the best chance of playing as freshman. One is Robert Reid, the quarterback from Galena Park Texas, who is already a student on the OSU campus. The other is Nathan Peterson, a defensive end from Union, who is also already an OSU student. Other guys have a shot at the offensive line positions and the rest could see some time on the defense, but it is hard to say who will have an instant impact. One of the biggest signings was running back Mike Hamilton, from Melbourne, Fla., who‚s a Top 100 recruit. While the odds of him starting or playing is slim due to the emergence of Vernand Morency as the top back at O-State. With spring practice yet to come, it is really impossible to predict what can happen at any practice, but it is always fun to start guessing. With six new players supposedly taking part in spring practice, it will give everyone a chance to see them and make more educated guesses.

4. How many two-sport athletes are there at OSU?

Everyone knows the obvious answer is one. Josh Fields has played quarterback and third base for the Cowboys going on his third year. The interesting thing is there are more than I probably even know about. Last week, Cowgirl guard Brittany Dietz announced she will play tennis at the end of basketball season. Dietz is a former National High School Tennis Athlete of the Year after a career record of 149-0. She then chose to play college basketball instead of tennis because she enjoyed the team environment during the games. Now she will do both as soon as the basketball season wraps. There are two other football players who use their speed to their advantage. Daniel McLemore and Vernon Grant both spend the spring competing in track events. McLemore has already qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships in the 60m dash, and Grant looks to join him in the same event by season‚s end. There are many cross-country runners who cross over into the track season, but it is hard to say if they are two-sport athletes. The question many should be asking, is who will do it next. Cowgirl guard recently joked that she could see herself playing leftfield for the softball team. Who knows, maybe she will dust off her glove and go out and play. If you‚re wondering why leftfield, L.A. said she used to play catcher, but the ball comes in to fast. Maybe she should just stick to basketball.

5. Is there enough fan support for OSU athletics?

As the football stadium continues to have more steel beams added to the frame, the question must come up. The answer could easily be no. Last football season, of all the home games, only one or two was actually so full of people that it seemed like a fan or two would fall over the edge. Now they are adding more seats in what could be a big if, unless this team can prove they can win without Rashaun. As for basketball, one team fills the seats while the other will have to keep inviting children‚s groups to reach at most five thousand fans. The Cowgirls may see six to eight thousand fans at Bedlam, but most will be wearing crimson and cream. People complain that OU gets all the attention in this state, and that just might be because they have more fan support. Some would say this is due to the winning track of the Sooners, but if you go to any sport besides football at OU, there will be more empty seats than there are full. The same goes for OSU. Go to the soccer stadium of the Big 12 champs and there will be empty seats. Softball and baseball has its followers, but not enough to fill the seats. The only sport to do well besides basketball and football is wrestling, and it should be that way if you‚re the No. 1 team since Cleopatra ruled Egypt. While fans may gripe that the Sooners get more attention, just remember, it must mean there are more fans wanting to hear about them. Only you can change that.

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