As we get closer to kicking off the 2019 college football season, teams from around the country, but more specifically in the Big 12, are dreaming as to how they can either meet expectations (Texas, Oklahoma), exceed them (Baylor, Iowa State) or absolutely shock the world (Kansas State, Texas Tech). But July is the time for every program and every fan to dream of hoisting that conference championship on the first Saturday in early December.
So let’s look at the Big 12 conference and expand on how every team can have that magical season. Let’s get to the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Editor’s note: Below are the previous teams we’ve discussed.
How can the Oklahoma State Cowboys win the Big 12 in 2019?
First off, Mike Gundy’s decision to redshirt Spencer Sanders in 2018 will have to turn out to be one of the most brilliant decisions of his coaching career. Gundy caught a lot of flack for not giving Sanders any game reps last season, despite the fact that the new redshirt rule allows players to participate in up to four games and maintain the fifth season. But if Gundy is truly the one who knew better than the rest of us how to handle his prized prospect, then this bet will pay off with Sanders having a full understanding of the system, beating out Dru Brown for the job, and electrifying Boone Pickens Stadium.
Also, wide receiver Tylan Wallace will have to turn into the Biletnikoff Award winner, just like his predecessors James Washington and Justin Blackmon. In addition, Chuba Hubbard will need to take the next step and become one of, if not the best, running back in the Big 12 Conference. By the way, neither of these two things happening would be shocking.
Defensively, the Cowboys struggled last fall and as defensive coordinator Jim Knowles enters his second season in the Big 12, he needs to prove that he’s made the adjustments necessary. In 2018, Oklahoma State had the second-worst total defense in the Big 12 Conference and the third-worst pass defense efficiency.
The good news for the Pokes is that their schedule is pretty balanced. Their toughest games sandwich the rest of the conference schedule. The Cowboys open Big 12 play in Austin on September 21st and end the season November 30th at home against Oklahoma. As a result, there is no overly-difficult stretch for Oklahoma State, but there is a three-game run that starts in late October that will define the season: vs. Baylor, at Iowa State, vs. TCU. These are the three teams who are also trying to be the team that surprises the Big 12 Conference with a run to a conference championship game. If Oklahoma State wants to shock the Big 12, then they have to have a 3-0 stretch during those games, along with splitting the Texas and Oklahoma game. We know Mike Gundy’s woes against his biggest rival, but could this year finally be different?
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