Sept. 1 Savannah State
Sept. 8 at Arizona
Sept. 15 Louisiana-Lafayette
Sept. 22 Open
Sept. 29 Texas
Oct. 6 Open
Oct. 13 at Kansas
Oct. 20 Iowa State (Homecoming)
Oct. 27 TCU
Nov. 3 at Kansas State
Nov. 10 West Virginia
Nov. 17 Texas Tech
Nov. 24 at Oklahoma
Dec. 1 at Baylor
(All start times are still to be announced)
The opener with Savannah State was a longer negotiation that usual. FBS teams needing games are a target for FCS schools looking to make a buck and Savannah State was. The price of the game has not been announced, but I would not be surprised if Oklahoma State is paying upwards of $800,000 and probably close to $1 million for the MEAC team and traditional black football school to travel to Stillwater.
Arizona will be interesting as coach Mike Gundy was quoted today saying the previous games with Arizona the past two years in the Alamo Bowl and last season in Stillwater won't factor with the coaching change and Rich Rodriguez bringing his run first spread offense. You would rather play them early than late as it will take some time to implement his system.
ULL had a great season last year but graduated some of their better players on both sides of the football. This is a good final nonconference game at home.
In the first nine weeks of the season Oklahoma State is home five times, on the road twice and at home with bye weeks twice, so only twice in the first nine weeks of the season will the Cowboys be away from home.
The two open weeks are interesting as they sandwich the conference opener with Texas. I have never seen a schedule like that and you have to think the challenge for the coaching staff will be to practice in a way that keeps the players rhythm up and an edge in execution. The bonus here is the first game coming off the second bye week in three weeks total is against Big 12 cellar dweller Kansas. The Jayhawks are not very good. If your execution is not as sharp coming out of that second open week, it will likely be fine to ramp it up against Kansas.
As for Texas, playing them earlier in the conference slate will be good, as well. Mack Brown is going to play a lot of freshmen and that quarterback position is not cemented. Playing Texas early could be a positive factor in getting freshmen and a quarterback that may not be all that confident yet.
Iowa State comes to Stillwater in the only game on the schedule against a team Oklahoma State lost to last season and it is Homecoming, which is a high percentage game for the Cowboys.
The next three games, in my opinion, form a gauntlet. TCU rebuilt last season and have nearly everybody back and will be cranked in playing in the Big 12. Good thing to get them at home, but this will be a challenge.
I like Kansas State to play for the Big 12 Conference championship as well next season. They have their leaders back and if Collin Klein stays healthy the 'Cats will really be tough.
West Virginia will have to rebuild on defense as the staff and most of the top players on that side of the ball are gone. It is former OSU assistant Joe DeForest's job to reboot the defense. On offense Dana Holgorsen will have the Mountaineers rocking. Three games here that will determine ultimately how the Cowboys season will rank.
Texas Tech is in Stillwater next and you would like to think they will have blood in their eye after a 66-6 loss last season. We shall see.
Bob Stoops wants a Thanksgiving weekend game and this year the word is they wanted Oklahoma State. The last time Oklahoma State beat up on a Bob Stoops team he wanted to get the Bedlam game moved off the final game of the season. This would be consistent with the last time. It's okay, although so was having a bye week Turkey week.
The season wraps up at Baylor and with RG III and most of Baylor's top offensive weapons and some of their best defensive players gone, Baylor will not be as strong but Baylor is likely saying the same thing with Weeden, Blackmon, Blatnick and Martin graduated from Stillwater.