STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- For the first time ever, Oklahoma State heads into the 2012 season with the distinction of being the reigning Big 12 champion.
Even after losing record-setting stars Justin Blackmon and Brandon Weeden to the NFL, the Cowboys aren't about to lower expectations for a program that has been on the rise since Mike Gundy took over as coach seven years ago.
Oklahoma State was picked to finish fourth in the Big 12 this season. But don't let that fool you. The Cowboys have finished each of the last three seasons higher than they were picked in the preseason poll, and their 20-5 record during that span is the best in league play.
Oklahoma State opens its title defense Sept. 1 against Savannah State.