Sept. 3 @ Central Michigan - Win
The Cowboys will get an opponent that will give a supreme effort following the sacrifice and the courage shown them up close by new head coach John Bonamego in his fight against tonsil cancer during the summer and preseason. They also lost a teammate to cancer in May. This is a team coming off a bowl season that has talent and a very solid returning quarterback. It is also a team with some holes and I expect the speed difference to be a major factor. It also helps that this is the season opener so both teams will be ramped up in the effort and emotion departments. When the game settles in, Oklahoma State has too much for the Chippewas.
Sept. 12 Central Arkansas - Win
This is the most dangerous non-conference game in my opinion as the Bears have athletic talent and some legitimate speed. They get some players that can't get into SEC schools. If this game were on the road it wouldn't be dramatically different from going to Troy. UCA led Texas Tech in Lubbock last season in the second half and Tech had to score twice late to win. A huge key is for the Cowboys to not take anything for granted and be ready to play. Oklahoma State wins but don't be surprised if this isn't the closest of the non-conference games.
Sept. 19 UTSA - Win
This is a rebuilding season for Larry Coker and the Roadrunners. Oklahoma State should be primed and ready for this one as a preparation for Texas the next week.
Sept. 26 @ Texas - Win
I'll be anxious to watch Texas at Notre Dame on the opening weekend. While I don't see Notre Dame as a monster this season I believe Texas is vulnerable and in a bad position. In fact, the Longhorns non-conference schedule of at Notre Dame, Rice, and California has me thinking they will be 1-2 heading into the game with the Cowboys. I've said it, and I have doubters, but I think this could be a big win.
Oct. 3 Kansas State - Win
The biggest issue in Manhattan right now is whether Kansas State can find a quarterback and the injury to lineman Boston Stiverson is not good. He is a valuable player up front. Oklahoma State will need to be focused as you will always get a great effort out of a Bill Snyder team.
Oct. 10 @ West Virginia - Loss
By far this is the most dangerous game in the first half of the season as West Virginia is really good on defense, really good on special teams, and will be improved offensively by the time the Cowboys arrive in Morgantown. It's a tough place to play and longer road trip and a really good opponent that is underrated. I've picked this game as a loss and I'm not going to change but I'm going to hope I am wrong. I'm wrong a lot.
Oct. 24 Kansas - Win
The Jayhawks may be one of the worst teams in Big 12 history as new head coach David Beatty has walked into a really tough situation and there are no immediate answers. This may not be as close as the non-conference games.
Oct. 31 @ Texas Tech - Win
Halloween in Lubbock and that certainly could be an adventure. Texas Tech is a tough place to play but I really think that fixing the defensive problems for Tech will be more than a one-year issue for new coordinator David Gibbs, and Oklahoma State defensively is in a good place to defend what Tech does offensively.
Nov. 7 TCU - Loss
The Horned Frogs are good. The Cowboys are as well and I expect this game to be a knock down, drag out, and very entertaining football game. The key will be what injuries each team has had to endure up to this point and how those have impacted both teams. With the game in Stillwater I see this one as really close.
Nov. 14 @ Iowa State - Win
You never know what you get weather-wise in Ames, Iowa in November. Of course, a couple of years back the unbeaten Cowboys were upset by the Cyclones with a potential BCS Championship Game appearance on the line. Oklahoma State likely won't be dealing with those high stakes but should handle the weather and the Cyclones for win.
Nov. 21 Baylor - Loss
The very talented Bears with as many as three first-round NFL Draft picks could be in the middle of the CFP battle for the top four spots. Of course, so could the Cowboys. Baylor has struggled in Stillwater and I think they will be in a battle in this one, but have their best chance to break through in Stillwater.
Nov. 28 OU - Win
Last year's win by the Cowboys was a game between two teams that were really about even and were struggling to make it to the end of the season. As it was the overtime win by the Cowboys changed the tone of everything and provided great momentum heading into this season. I think Oklahoma State has a sizeable talent advantage this season and we will see but I predict the Cowboys to win by a two score margin.