Oklahoma State Football: Ranking the Teams Most Likely to Give the Cowboys Fits
The Oklahoma State Cowboys’ 2012 football schedule will look markedly different from their 2011 with two new additions to the Big 12 conference. West Virginia and TCU will be two more teams that could potentially give the Cowboys fits.
While the additions are definitely good for the conference, they may not be good for the Cowboys win total in 2012. The two teams they replaced both had worse records than WVU and TCU did last season. With the regular opponents like Oklahoma and Texas, the Cowboys should have a tough slate ahead of them in 2012.
Here are the five teams most likely to give this Cowboys team fits.
5. TCU Horned Frogs
A new conference opponent is never easy, especially when it is one that you’ve really played out of conference much either. TCU and Oklahoma State aren’t familiar opponents in the least bit, which is what makes this game so interesting.
TCU head coach Gary Patterson has done a great job with the Horned Frog program during his tenure, and it won’t be easy for the Cowboys to come out on top in the matchup. It will be at home, but that may not make much of a difference.
4. Kansas State Wildcats
Kansas State came within inches of defeating the Cowboys last season and returns its entire Wildcat squad almost completely intact. Collin Klein was a machine last season, leading the NCAA in rushing touchdowns and passing for quite a few as well.
He tore up Oklahoma State at home and might have beaten them if he’d thrown a better pass at the end of the game. To expect such mistakes from him again in Manhattan would be incredibly foolish. This Kansas State team plays defense very well and won’t back down.
3. West Virginia Mountaineers
Unlike TCU, West Virginia does not have as big of a surprise advantage over the Cowboys. Mountaineer head man Dana Holgorsen installed the up-tempo passing attack he uses now at Oklahoma State first, so the Cowboy defense will be well-acquainted with what they’ll face.
However, the Mountaineers showed in the Orange Bowl that letting them get loose is a recipe for disaster. Scoring 70 points isn't easy to do against any team, and this squad is returning most of the players that contributed to that effort, including quarterback Geno Smith. Look for this to be a huge shootout in Stillwater.
2. Texas Longhorns
No matter how good the Cowboys are or how bad Texas is playing at the moment, this will never be an easy game for the Cowboys to win. Texas always has talent, and this year will be no different.
While the game is finally back in Stillwater this season, it still won’t be an easy one. Texas is an improving team based on what we saw last year, and the Longhorn defense will always be formidable enough to keep them in games. This could be especially tough for Oklahoma State if the Texas pass rushers are able to get to true freshman quarterback Wes Lunt early and often.
1. Oklahoma Sooners
No other game could be in this spot. This game will always be the toughest to win for the Cowboys, especially in years like 2012 when the game is in Norman. There is a reason the Sooners have such a high winning percentage there under Bob Stoops.
Unlike the Cowboys, Oklahoma will return its veteran quarterback Landry Jones for another, final season. The Sooners’ defense will also be improved with the return of Mike Stoops as defensive coordinator.
Going into Norman and getting a win won’t be impossible for the Cowboys, but it will be closer to impossible than easy.