The Oklahoma State Cowboys start off the college football season ranked 11th in the nations coaches poll. The Cowboys return a multitude of offensive threats including the best offensive trio in the nation.
They also return their entire linebacking corps and a solid majority of there defensive line. Though the secondary is thin, they do have shut down corner and special teams threat Parrish Cox and fellow senior Terrance Anderson leading the way.
Followed by a solid recruiting class, here are the following reasons on why the Cowboys are a contender this season.
Welcome to newly renovated Boone Pickens Stadium, which opens its doors fully completed for the first time on Sept. 5.
The Cowboys will now have the environment they've always wanted, this stadium holds close to 60,000 fans and supports the noise level extremely well.
The Cowboys now have one of the nicest facilities in the nation that will also quickly develop into one of the more difficult fields to play on it the country.
The Cowboys will welcome Georgia on Sept. 5 as their first opponent in the newly renovated home.
Oklahoma State has two of the most deadly return men in college football. Wide out Dez Bryant and defensive back Parrish Cox team up to form the most talented return men in the nation.
With two players deep that are capable of returning it 100+ yards to the end zone, teams should be skeptical on who they kick it, too.
The Cowboys now bring something to the field that they haven't been able to over there collective history. Depth.
After a solid recruiting class and smart redshirting by the Cowboy coaching staff, both the offensive and defensive lines have quality back ups behind them, even the Cowboy linebackers and secondary are deep which will allow the Cowboys to play their fast pace style for effectively on both sides of the ball.
The Cowboys are also deep at running back. Starting a junior who is followed by two quality seniors and a solid core of freshman, the Pokes won't have to worry if a running back falls to injury.
The Cowboys enter the season loaded at linebacker. With seniors Patrick Lavine, Andre Sexton, and Orie Lemon leading the way, the Cowboys will have no lack of experience on the field. They are also followed by a solid junior in Justin Gent as well as a talented core of underclassmen.
These linebackers have led the Cowboys in tackles the past two seasons, and as their respective skills have grown, so has there resumes. They are now players to watch out for both in coverage and rushing the line.
Led by star backer Andre Sexton, this corps will have no problem continuing what they do best: leading the Cowboy defense.
Head Coach Mike Gundy has been known for his fast paced, high energy personality since he was a player at Oklahoma State.
Gundy has been known to focus solely on the offense. For example, against Missouri Gundy reserved himself from anything concerning his defense and focused on the following offensive possession.
He has been known for around the country for his tyrant against a reporter while defending his former starting quarterback Bobby Reid.
Gundy is a "man" but he is no longer 40, and he has build a program in Stillwater that not many even thought was possible.
Cox throughout his career has been known for his special teams promise. Widely known as one biggest kick off and punt return threats in the country, many coaches are skeptical than to kick it near him.
Now however, new defensive coordinator Bill Young and many of his teammates believe that Cox is now at the next level.
After defending Bryant for a majority of spring, summer, and fall practices, Cox' defensive skills have grown exponentially.
Cox enters his senior season as the only remaining starter in the secondary. However, followed by a solid group of underclassmen and a select few veterans, Cox will get to display his leadership skills and his ability to be a shut down corner in the explosive Big XII.
Kendall Hunter burst onto the scene his freshman year at Oklahoma State, playing the back up for Dantrell Savage. After a battle for the starting job the following season, Hunter showed the country why he won the battle.
After single-handedly keeping the Cowboys in the game against the Texas Longhorns, Hunter then rushed for 100 yards in nine games.
Hunter is now entering his junior year and is followed by senior tail backs Keith Toston and Beau Johnson.
Now part of the most dominant offensive trio in college football, the small Hunter (listed at 5'8") must now continue what he does bust.
Running all over defenses.
Zac Robinson can walk to the line of scrimmage at peace, knowing he is protected by an offensive line that is not only filled by All Big XII players, but led by an All American.
Russell Okung has developed into one of the best offensive lineman in the country and is widely projected to be a high first round pick in the NFL Draft next year.
Okung is teamed up with All Big XII First Team center Andrew Lewis, who was recently pictured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Followed by a lot of depth and talent, Okung can now help the Cowboys do something they haven't done in decades, compete for a BCS Bowl.
The leader and force of driving force of the Oklahoma State Cowboy offense. Zac Robinson. Though most of last season he was shadowed by the likes of Oklahoma's Sam Bradford and Texas' Colt McCoy, Robinson is now known across the country and is listed as a dark horse for the Heisman around.
Being one of the most well rounded duel threat QB's in the land, Robinson has led the Cowboys to unknown waters, while breaking many records along the way.
Robinson has put is name on the list of Oklahoma States greatest QB's and has even broken his head coaches season and career records.
Has Robinson's resume grows, so does the talent around him, including his favorite target, Dez Bryant.
Widely considered as the best receiver in the land, Dez Bryant could do no wrong last season. Making play after play after play.
Bryant led with team with 18 touchdown receptions and had more total yards than Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree.
Bryant is now listed as one of the top Heisman candidates and is considered to be a top pick in the NFL Draft. Should Bryant decide to forgo his senior season that is.
Bryant is been a key receiver in the Cowboy offense since arriving in Stillwater and playing beside Adarius Bowman.
Now the key to the passing game, Bryant has been preparing to continue the construction of the Cowboy football program, while putting Stillwater on the map.
As Stillwater is the home of the Cowboys, it is also a great community and a friendly one as well. Though we are hostile on the field and in the gym, we welcome all those who come here to either visit or challenge us. Look out world, here come the Cowboys.