It’s that time of year again when we’re all sitting around excited for summer, but also trying to peek ahead to get closer to the college football season. There are only 112 days until the first full Saturday of college football, but who’s counting, right? Definitely not me.
So, let’s get to our best-case and worst-case scenario for each team in the Big 12 Conference. It’s the time of year when fans want to look at the schedule and see everything that can go right, but let’s be honest, there will be a team that will have the kind of season where everything goes wrong. So, it’s time to head to Stillwater, Oklahoma and take a look at the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Oklahoma State’s Best-Case Scenario: 9-3
The Oklahoma State Cowboys open up the season against Oregon State, which would’ve been a decent game during the Mike Riley era. Now, it’s a Beavers team that is 3-21 the past two seasons. Oklahoma State has some questions entering the season, but they roll through the non-conference, which includes McNeese State and Tulsa with a 3-0 record. A road trip to Texas follows, which is the Big 12 opener, and the Longhorns are eager to exact revenge on last season’s stunning upset in Stillwater on Homecoming Weekend, plus OSU’s new quarterback (whoever Gundy goes with) hasn’t seen a defense like Texas’ in his life. The Cowboys drop the game in Austin, but are 3-1 and able to bounce back with a win over a Kansas State team still trying to find its footing under new head coach Chris Klieman. That’s followed by three games in four weeks: at Texas Tech, vs. Baylor and at Iowa State. The latter two are hoping to be party crashers in the Big 12 this fall. If the Cowboys can get through this stretch with a 2-1 record they should be happy. That would make the Pokes 6-2 on the season. As we turn the calendar to November, Oklahoma State has three home games against TCU, Kansas and Oklahoma, with a road trip to Morgantown squeezed into the middle of it. The Pokes would sign up right now for a 3-1 November, moving them to 9-3 on the season, which would be a solid bounce back from the 2018 campaign.
Oklahoma State’s Worst-Case Scenario: 5-7
Oklahoma State is still trying to figure out its quarterback situation and what if Mike Gundy goes into the 2019 season without a clear-cut starter? It seems unlikely, but it’s not crazy. Oregon State is trying to ward off the injury bug from last season in Jonathan Smith’s second season on the job. If the Beavers figure out their quarterback battle before Oklahoma State, plus the game in in Corvallis, a tough place to get to, maybe Oregon State can pull off the win and start turning around its fortunes. Oklahoma State follows up with a pair of victories over McNeese State and Tulsa. Big 12 play kicks off with a drubbing by a focused Texas team who did not forget last year’s struggles on Homecoming Weekend in Stillwater. Then, it’s two games before the bye at home against Kansas State and a trip to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech. The Cowboys split those two games and are sitting at 2-3 heading into their bye week. Out of the bye is two teams with plans of surprising the conference and making a run at the Big 12 title in Baylor and Iowa State. The Pokes drop both games falling to 3-5. Entering November, the Cowboys are desperate to stay in the hunt for bowl eligibility and pick up a win over TCU at home, as Mike Gundy improves his record to 5-3 against Gary Patterson. That’s also followed by a victory over Kansas. Suddenly at 5-5, Oklahoma State has life. But Morgantown in late November is a tough place to play and Neal Brown has his team surprising the rest of the conference. Oklahoma State loses to WVU and then Gundy gets beat again by OU in Bedlam, missing a bowl game and falling to 5-7 on the season, continuing a disappointing two-season stretch and making the Mason Rudolph era feel like a lifetime ago.
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