Oklahoma State was a yard away from securing a BIG12 title and a CFP spot (maybe). Stillwater nation are not wanting to talk about could have been. The 2021 season was a role setback for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. After years of an elite offense hauling a mediocre defense, it was an elite defense that carried a mediocre offense. The question I ask is, can the Cowboys lasso back atop in the BIG12 this year?
Mike Gundy has led the Cowboys to a bowl game in 16 straight seasons in Stillwater. The Cowboys have won 10 or more games seven times since 2010, he himself has turned this program into one of the best and consistent in the Big 12. Gundy as of late has been critical regarding the UT/OU moves to leave the BIG12 for the SEC.
Who Will Lead The Cowboys to 17-Straight Bowl Appearances?
Oklahoma State had every opportunity to win the Big 12 Championship Game over Baylor last season. Everyone would agree that Sanders played a dreadful game. He threw four costly interceptions against the Bears. Gundy’s offenses have commonly been among the best nationally, but he has had difficulty getting Spencer Sanders to take his game to the next level.
Sanders demonstrated what he can do with an excellent performance in a win over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. Gundy could decide to start over in the middle of the season if Sanders remains to be exasperating with his inconsistency. The other BIG12 schools are finding ways to get better and make a push, QB play is crucial. Garret Rangel was a highly advertised recruit coming out of high school, and Gunner Gundy has had one year under his belt.
Dominic Richardson and Texas A&M transfer Deondre Jackson will be the RB’s for Oklahoma State. Richardson and Jackson should have success running behind an OL that returns four starters from last season and transfers Casey Collier from USC and Jason Brooks from Vanderbilt.
Oklahoma State ranked in the top five nationally in Defensive SP+, total defense, defensive yards per play, third down defense, and fourth down defense last season. That led to former defensive coordinator, Jim Knowles, becoming the Ohio State DC after being swooped.
The new defensive coordinator, Derek Mason, was the tremendous replacement for Knowles. Mason has been labeled as one of CFB’s best defensive minds for the past decade. He might not have as much talent as Knowles did last season. The question will be with only four returning starters ranking 128th in the nation, can they reach the same level as last year? Probably not, but Mason will have the Cowboys playing at an SEC-level defense.
2022 OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS SCHEDULE
- Thu., Sept. 1 – vs. Central Michigan
- Sat., Sept. 10 – vs. Arizona State
- Sat., Sept. 17 – vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff
- Sat., Oct. 1 – at Baylor
- Sat., Oct. 8 – vs. Texas Tech
- Sat., Oct. 15 – at TCU
- Sat., Oct. 22 – vs. Texas
- Sat., Oct. 29 – at Kansas State
- Sat., Nov. 5 – at Kansas
- Sat., Nov. 12 – vs. Iowa State
- Sat., Nov. 19 – at Oklahoma
- Sat., Nov. 26 – vs. West Virginia
Oklahoma State are going to be heavy favorites in all three of its non-conference games, so the Cowboys should start the year 3-0. However, their first road game will be a test as they must travel to Waco. The schedule creators did Oklahoma State some favors with how this schedule is spaced out, so nine wins feels like the right call for the Cowboys.
The Bedlam will be the determining factor if the season goes right for the Cowboys. Even with a new HC at OU, Gundy is 3-14 versus the Sooners and playing in Norman where out of the three wins, Gundy only has one.
Pick: Over 8.5 wins
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