As is customary on ChantRant, we routinely hold interviews with blogs supporting our opponents. We will be holding two series of exchanges, one now during the off-season and one later leading up to the season. Up first, naturally, is our exchange with Kyle Porter of PistolsFiring.com.
We will start off with our questions to Pistols Firing in garnet and his responses.
1. Oklahoma State just lost a wealth of talent. What are your expectations for this season?
Hah, if I was a fan I would skip this question but I guess it's sort of my job to have expectations so I'm going to say that much like the 100 or so seasons before this one, OSU has no chance at winning their conference in football this season. That being said, I think OSU is going to be better than folks think. 9-3 is the absolute ceiling but 8-4 would be a tremendous season with the gauntlet OSU has (FSU, at OU, at KSU, at Baylor...yeesh). Much like 2012 was, this is just a stepping stone to try and win a conference title in 2015.
2. What are OSU's strengths and weaknesses?
Strengths are a 46-year-old head coach and weaknesses are everything else. Not really, I think the defensive line will be decent, Kevin Peterson is a monster at cornerback, and it's a wide receiving group that's long on depth but short on go-to guys. Running back isn't as good as I would like it to be and we just lost our offensive line coach who had been in Stillwater since WWII (approximately) to Texas.
Linebacker is thin also and QB is just a big fat question mark scrambling around in the backfield but I think all these are really just minor issues when you consider the stability of OSU's program over the past five years. I trust what Gundy has built and though OSU won't be strong this season they won't have a losing record or anything like that, I don't think.
3. Does OSU have a pass rush or secondary to try and slow down FSU's passing attack?
Just kidding, I won't leave you hanging like that. The secondary is decent -- Kevin Peterson could be All-Big 12 -- and the defensive line is actually underrated right now. But it won't be anything FSU can't handle. The one thing we have going for us is that Jameis might not be Jameising yet in the first game of the season. Our first game last season was bloody -- Mississippi State's offense was offensive (at best) so that could be the one thing that keeps this baby close.
4. How was OSU's spring practice? Any surprises or disappointments?
Spring practice was fine -- Gundy reiterated about 495 times how young this squad is and Glenn Spencer (our defensive coordinator) spoke as if he was coaching Kansas' fourth stringers as his starting defense -- but I think they're just trying to set expectations low. The main focus was who would snag the QB job -- the incumbent (kind of) in JW Walsh, a scrambling poor-armed gamer who has endeared himself to the OSU faithful or Mason Rudolph, a big, apparently strong-armed pocket passer who's totally unproven. Walsh got the nod.
Also the emergence of Tyreek Hill -- an Olympic sprinter (literally) was a bit of a revelation -- but these things are often overhyped so I think we're all holding our breath until he sets that big star ablaze in JerryWorld on August 30.
5. Do you have an early score prediction?
Bonus round: any crab leg jokes?
There will be enough crab leg jokes come August.