Make no bones about it this Washington State team has been horrendous the past two seasons posting a 3-22 record. They were 9-15 ATS and the linesmaker knows he has to increase the tariff in order to get action on the Cougars. That said, this is the third year of Paul Wulff’s system and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There are 15 returning starters including the quarterback and the line play is really improving. For those that follow football closely you are well aware that the game is won and lost in the trenches and this team is getting better and better on the lines. In fact, the defensive line has been the strength of the team in camp.
While we like the improvement of the Cougars the real reason we look to take the underdog here is that Oklahoma State lost a ton of talent in the offseason. They return just eight starters and 11 players will be making their very first starts of their college careers. As many as 10 true freshmen could see action Saturday for the Cowboys. In addition to the huge graduation losses Oklahoma State has lost three defensive players in the two deep to season ending injuries. They have also lost three middle linebackers for the season. After improving from 28.1 ppg allowed in 2008 to 21.7 ppg permitted last season we expect a huge jump in points allowed this year. The Cowboys were a combined 18-8 the last two seasons but you can argue that no other team in the country can match the Cowboy losses.
With so many new faces on the roster it’s virtually impossible for head coach Mike Gundy to have his team hitting on all cylinders this early in the season. Last year the Cowboys were double digit favorites four times posting a 1-3 spread record, the only spread win was against non-FBS squad Grambling State. Not only did the Cowboys struggle to put away the opposition, but they lost outright hosting Houston as a 15 point favorite. In fact, against regularly lined teams Oklahoma State lost to the spread when favored by double digits by a combined 56 points! Gundy will be looking to play a lot of players in this game to get a better idea of what he has before hosting a solid Troy team next week. Does that sound like a team worthy of laying more that two touchdowns with? PLAY WASHINGTON STATE. Get more college football picks picks from Bryan Leonard at Touthouse