Oklahoma State is midway through its football season and the Cowboys stand at 5-1. Most prognosticators would’ve assumed that to be the correct record heading into the halfway point of the season. But, anyone looking at the Cowboys’ No. 15 ranking in the AP poll, saying they have a chance to continue climbing in the polls, and MAYBE making a run at the newly formed playoff, needs to get a reality check. While Oklahoma State played its best game against Florida State, the team got off to a slow start and that most likely cost them a chance to win the game.
Moments into the Missouri State game, J.W. Walsh was injured. The Cowboys will be without him for the forseeable future, so the Pokes had Daxx Garman under center since, and the offense has been anemic from that day forward. After Garman and the Cowboys were unable to put away the Texas Tech Red Raiders at home to start conference play, Cowboy fans were hoping to see improvement against Iowa State. It wasn’t until Jhajuan Seales caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from Garman, which extended the lead to 27-13 with eight minutes left in the third quarter to where Cowboy fans could relax.
On Saturday, the Cowboys had to make the difficult trip to Lawrence to play the Jayhawks. Oh wait, the basketball team makes the tough trip to Lawrence, not the football team; but you wouldn’t have thought so on Saturday by the way the football team played. Not only did the Jayhawks hold the ball longer than Oklahoma State, but they also had three more first downs than Oklahoma State and 104 more yards of total offense than the Cowboys. So, while Tyreek Hill returned a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown with just under seven minutes remaining, which gave the Cowboys a 27-20 victory, that doesn’t change the fact that the Pokes squeaked by a 2-4 Kansas team by seven points.
Four of the last six teams Oklahoma State will face are teams ranked in the top 14 of the AP poll and all of those games are on the road against TCU, Baylor, Kansas State and OU. The other two games are West Virginia, whose offense is beginning to click and Texas, who Oklahoma State has historically struggled against. The gauntlet begins this week at TCU. I’m not saying Oklahoma State loses its last six games and doesn’t make a bowl appearance, but if the Pokes are able to go 3-3 down the stretch that will be a success based on the way the team has performed in its first six games.