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Best/worst case rewind: Oklahoma State

We're taking a look back at what we thought the best- and worst-case scenarios for each team were in August, and how it shook out now that February has arrived.

Next up: Oklahoma State.

Best case: 10-2, with losses to Texas and one of these three: Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Nebraska. "Oklahoma State, along with Texas Tech, is a team I don't have a great feel yet for how good they'll be, because of so many fresh faces. ...Teams like that are going to get a much wider variance in their best and worst-case scenarios. ...They're a dark horse to win the South. Not something I'd bet on, but a possibility in their best world."

Worst case: 5-7, with wins over Washington State, Troy, Tulsa, Louisiana-Lafayette and Kansas.

Reality: Oklahoma State had a memorable season, winning 11 games for the first time in school history and sharing a Big 12 South title with Oklahoma and Texas A&M. Both of Oklahoma State's losses came at home, but they were to quality opponents, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

Analysis: Texas and Oklahoma State were in a class of their own for the Big 12's most surprising team. The difference was the Cowboys enjoyed their wild ride.

I'd have to think even the most optimistic of Oklahoma State fans would have a hard time honestly believing the Cowboys could win 11 games at the beginning of the season. Last year was supposed to be "The Year." This year was supposed to be a learning experience for a young team bringing back just four starters on both sides of the ball and breaking in a new quarterback who hadn't started a game in eight years, throwing to a bunch of fairly inexperienced receivers.

Well, one of those receivers went from 20 career catches to Biletnikoff Award winner in one season and that eight-year gap between starts didn't seem to keep Brandon Weeden from being crowned the Big 12's best quarterback at the end of the season by being slotted as the first-team All-Big 12 selection. Dana Holgorsen's offense was the biggest reason for the jump, and the Cowboys will be looking for an encore in 2011. I pegged Texas Tech and Oklahoma State as the conference's two biggest wild cards throughout the preseason, but I never thought the 2010 season could get as wild as it did for the Cowboys. They were the Big 12's most consistent team from September to January. The defense was the league's most improved over that span and if the offense can come close to what it did in 2010, the Cowboys should contend for a Big 12 title again in 2011.