Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy hasn't had to explain to his team how difficult its season opener will be.
Instead, he showed players film of Mississippi State and let them ''make those decisions on their own.''
The 13th-ranked Cowboys open the season on Saturday against the Bulldogs in Houston at Reliant Stadium.
The game represents a big step up in competition for both teams compared to last year's openers. The Cowboys crushed Savannah State 84-0 in 2012 while Mississippi State beat Jackson State 56-9.
It's also an opportunity for Oklahoma State to knock off a program from the mighty Southeastern Conference. Even though the Bulldogs aren't considered a top-tier team in the SEC, they've been to three straight bowl games and have turned into consistent winners under fifth-year coach Dan Mullen.
''I think the players know what they're into by watching tape,'' Gundy said. ''Last year, we never tried to convince them ...