Second-Half Predictions For The Cowboys

Back in July, I picked every game involving every Big 12 team. I picked Oklahoma State to be 5-0 after the first five games of the season. Obviously, my miss was when the Cowboys traveled to Morgantown, W.V. My summer selections had Oklahoma State going 6-1 the rest of the way with the predicted loss coming in Lubbock, Texas against a jelling Texas Tech squad under Kliff Kingsbury.

With this bye week I thought it might be interesting to go back and look at how the rest of the schedule shapes up, and how I would amend my selections based on the knowledge now at hand. Here we go ...

Oct. 19, 11 a.m., vs. TCU (Homecoming) FOX
The Horned Frogs had their own difficulty and for the second season in a row Oklahoma State will avoid having to face the rifle-armed Casey Pachall. Pachall broke his non-throwing arm (left) in three places against Southeastern Louisiana and won't be back likely until a Nov. 9 game at Iowa State.

Currently, TCU is dead last in the Big 12 in total offense and seventh in scoring offense. They are one dimensional and that one dimension, rushing, only ranks them midway in the league in that category. The defense is good, solid at stopping both run and pass and especially forceful up front. They are tied with Oklahoma State in turnover margin at +7. All that and the current shape of the OSU offense leads me to predict a close game. With the home-field advantage, I see OKLAHOMA STATE winning 24-14.

Oct. 26 at IOWA STATE
The Cyclones are a competitive bunch as exhibited last Thursday against Texas where a questionable call certainly impacted the Longhorns win. Paul Rhoads is a great motivator and orchestrated one of his greatest upsets and one of Iowa State's all-time best wins against OSU the last time the Cowboys made the trip to Ames.

Too many Cowboys remember that night and it will be a huge motivator. Head coach Mike Gundy won't even have to bring it up. By the time the Cowboys get to Iowa State, the Cyclones should be 1-5 overall and 0-3 in the Big 12. OKLAHOMA STATE gains a semblance of revenge with a 34-13 road victory over a team definitely better than their record.

Nov. 2 at TEXAS TECH
The loss at West Virginia takes away one of the reasons that I had this trip pegged as loser. Oklahoma State has already lost a game and is wide eyed to the opportunity of getting beat. Nobody will sneak up on Oklahoma State at this point.

Texas Tech is much better, much earlier than any of us thought. The Red Raiders are in the top three in virtually every major statistical category other than rushing offense and passing defense. They are number one at stopping the run and in any normal year would likely be number one at passing offense, but Baylor is obscene.

This figures to be a tough matchup for the Cowboys, who will have to rely on defense in Lubbock and hope for some breaks in the form of turnovers. Special teams could go a long way in deciding this game. Tough conditions and on the road, TEXAS TECH edges OKLAHOMA STATE 27-24.

Nov. 9 vs. KANSAS
After the Lubbock trip the Cowboys could have their back against the wall and badly need to win out to even have a chance. They get a running start, either way, with Kansas next on the schedule. Now Kansas did give OSU all the Cowboys wanted in the rain in Lawrence last season, but not this time. Kansas is in the bottom three in nearly every stat category. OKLAHOMA STATE beats the Jayhawks 48-6.

Nov. 16 at TEXAS
Okay, keep an eye on the Cotton Bowl this Saturday. If OU rolls the Longhorns again pushing Texas to 3-3 and 2-1 in the Big 12 then get ready for the free fall. Texas will be in a dogfight with TCU that they may win or lose, then they should be at Kansas.

Look out at West Virginia as the Mountaineers have made that game into a major event. Either way, Texas will lose some fight and some bite without a win in the Red River Rivalry. The Longhorns struggle with stopping a running quarterback and J.W. Walsh can run and would love to run on Texas. OKLAHOMA STATE wins in Austin 30-24.

Nov. 23 vs. BAYLOR
Scoring offense (70.5), scoring defense (16.2), total offense (779.5 yds), total defense (321.2 yds), rushing offense (347.2 yds), rushing defense (112.2 yds), pass offense (432.2 yds), and pass defense (209.0 yds) covers Baylor in the stats as they are top three in every category and they are at the top of all the offensive categories. Dec. 7 vs. OKLAHOMA (Bedlam)
As of today, most people would favor Oklahoma in this game but as I look at the stats there is not a huge difference between the two schools as OU is 100 yards better than the Cowboys in that area and the Cowboys are better in turnover margin.

A lot can happen between now and the last date in the regular season, but I expect Oklahoma to lose to Baylor and could slip up with Texas Tech or at K-State. However, Bedlam is at home with a healthy dose of significant seniors saying goodbye and playing their final game in Boone Pickens Stadium. I see the Cowboys winning, OKLAHOMA STATE 28-26 in Bedlam.

Final Record: 9-3 overall; 6-3 Big 12

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