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.
By posting double-digit win tallies each of the last three seasons, the folks in Stillwater have become accustomed to success when it comes to Mike Gundy’s football program. Unfortunately for the Oklahoma State Cowboys, key cogs to the team’s success over that stretch have since moved onto the NFL. It’s reload time for a Cowpokes team that enters the 2018 CFB betting season with only an 8 game season win total and long +817 odds to make noise in the Big 12.
Why you ask? It’s quite simply really. No more Mason Randolph and no more James Washington. That duo led the program to loads of success the last three seasons, and each will be incredibly tough to replace over the next three months. On top of that, the defense has a number of question marks that new Jim Knowles will no doubt rectify after proving his mettle as defensive coordinator at Duke for a number of seasons.
The good news heading into the season is that whichever quarterback gets the starting gig, likely Taylor Cornelius, he’ll have the conference’s leading rusher to fall back on as well as a talented set of pass catchers to get the pigskin to. On top of that, the front wall returns right players capable of stepping right in and forming a formidable offensive line.
The hogs up front will be opening holes for the conference’s leading rusher in Justice Hall who led the league with nearly 1,500 yards rushing. Though the programs most formidable pass-and-catch duo in school history has departed, the Cowboys will still possess a potent offensive attack that will be the focal point of the team heading into the season.
There will be some major growing pains on the defensive side of the ball with the unit completely changing its mentality to run the new DC’s 4-2-5 scheme. He’ll get some solid returning help in the forms of defensive end Jordan Brailford, linebackers Justin Phillips and Calvin Bundage as well as cornerbacks A.J. Green and Rodarius Williams. While the schematic change will lend towards much better defense against the spread-happy attacks of the Big 12, it’s going to take some time to implement. Especially in the secondary with all three safety positions needing to be filled.
Thankfully, the schedule makers did the team a solid by pitting the Cowpokes against a couple of Cupcakes to help breed confidence. But then it takes a turn for the worst with an experienced Boise State squad paying a visit to Stillwater, followed by a visit from the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Home clashes against Iowa State, Texas and West Virginia certainly won’t be walks in the park, and the road schedule in conference is frightening save for the trip to Lawrence to battle the toothless Jayhawks.
With all the major question marks surrounding the program, it comes as no surprise to find the betting markets fading Gundy’s troops leading up to the regular season. Skeptical vig is riding the over of the season win total, but I highly doubt sharp money has forced the move. A look at the schedule screams stay away, so it’s also tough to recommend staking any action on the Cowboys to win the Big 12 or be a player in the College Football Playoff race. Their 200-1 payoff to win it all is in line with teams like Boise State, Nebraska, Utah, South Carolina and UCF. While those teams are good, they’re not CFP good. If things don’t click early on, I foresee OKST having a heck of a time surpassing its current win total.
Week 1: Missouri State at Oklahoma State, Thursday, August 30, 8 p.m. ET – FS1
Week 2: South Alabama at Oklahoma State, Saturday, September 8, 8 p.m. ET
Week 3: Boise State at Oklahoma State, Saturday, September 15, 3:30 p.m. ET
Week 4: Texas Tech at Oklahoma State, Saturday, September 22
Week 5: Oklahoma State at Kansas, Saturday, September 29
Week 6: Iowa State at Oklahoma State, Saturday, October 6
Week 7: Oklahoma State at Kansas State, Saturday, October 13
Week 8: Bye Week
Week 9: Texas at Oklahoma State, Saturday, October 27
Week 10: Oklahoma State at Baylor, Saturday, November 3
Week 11: Oklahoma State at Oklahoma, Saturday, November 10
Week 12: West Virginia at Oklahoma State, Saturday, November 17
Week 13: Oklahoma State at TCU, Saturday, November 24
The College football season is here, and that means there are plenty of stats and information out there to make accurate decisions when investing in the betting lines and totals moving forward.
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Here are the individual conference break downs for each conference. If you click on the conference links we will also break down each school team by team sorted by conference.
|SEC Conference||Big 10 Conference|
|ACC Conference||Big 12 Conference|
|Pac 12 Conference||Big East Conference|
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