The Oklahoma State Cowboys won 10 games last season for the second year in a row. They’ve reached double figures in the victory column five times in the past seven seasons and the two years before that they barely missed by winning nine games each time. Under Mike Gundy the Cowboys have been really good, but they’ve been unable to cross over into greatness. As a whole the Big 12 could be down with Oklahoma recovering from the loss of its head coach, while Baylor and TCU are seeking to put the pieces in place. This could be the year the Cowboys win the Big 12 and get in the CFP discussion.
2016 Record: 10-3 SU, 8-5 ATS, 7-6 O/U
2017 Regular Season Win Total: 9
National Championship Odds: +4500
Odds To Win Big 12: +350
OSU’s hopes of anything resembling a national title were eliminated in the second game of the season when the Cowboys were stunned by Central Michigan. The Chippewas converted on the game’s final play to walk out of Boone Pickens Stadium with an improbable 30-27 victory on a play that never should have happened. Two weeks later the Cowboys were upset by Baylor in the Big 12 opener. It was clear sailing after that with OSU piling up the points and the yards.
The tandem of quarterback Mason Rudolph and receiver James Washington electrified the conference and the country. Rudolph became a Heisman hopeful and Washington the top receiver in FBS. The Cowboys ran off seven straight victories forcing a showdown with Oklahoma for the Big 12 title in the regular season finale.
The Sooners got the better of that matchup, beating OSU 38-20 to win the conference. The Cowboys were slowed by the conditions and their lethal passing attack was shut down. But OSU was hindered by a defense that had difficulties all season slowing teams down. The offense was able to cover most of the time, but the D needed to be better for the Cowboys to win the league.
With Rudolph and Washington back on board in 2017, the Cowboys should be lighting up the skies. They averaged 324 yards through the air last season to rank ninth in the FBS and that won’t change, especially in the Big 12. Plenty of weapons are back to help Rudolph, including running back Justin Hill, who ran for 1,142 yards last season. And the line is big and experienced.
The offense will have to put the points because the defense hasn’t improved enough to do it on its own. The entire unit needs to be much better after allowing teams to rack up over 446 yards and 26.5 points per game. The secondary is loaded with underclassmen and if a few of those guys pan out, they should be slightly better against the pass. The front seven will have to pressure the quarterback more than last season and that will help the pass defense numbers.
The Cowboys are about offense, though. They should put up the yards and points at a better clip than last season and have the talent to do it against the better defensive clubs. OSU enters the season as the second best team in the Big 12 and this year that will get them to the conference championship game. They get Baylor, TCU, Kansas State and Oklahoma at home, which is a huge deal, and could be what gets them to the top of the heap in 2017.
Week 1: Oklahoma State vs. Tulsa, Thursday, August 31
Week 2: Oklahoma State at South Alabama, Friday, September 8
Week 3: Oklahoma State at Pittsburgh, Saturday, September 16
Week 4: Oklahoma State vs. TCU, Saturday, September 23
Week 5: Oklahoma State at Texas Tech, Saturday, September 30
Week 6: OFF
Week 7: Oklahoma State vs. Baylor, Saturday, October 14
Week 8: Oklahoma State at Texas, Saturday, October 21
Week 9: Oklahoma State at West Virginia, Saturday, October 28
Week 10: Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma, Saturday, November 4
Week 11: Oklahoma State at Iowa State, Saturday, November 11
Week 12: Oklahoma State vs. Kansas State, Saturday, November 18
Week 13: Oklahoma State vs. Kansas, Saturday, November 25
|SEC Conference||Big 10 Conference|
|ACC Conference||Big 12 Conference|
|Pac 12 Conference||Big East Conference|
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