Cowboys could still make run for title

First, of course, OSU must roll over ULL, but conference play is right around the corner. The Cowboys are their own enemies, for a conference title isn't too far of a stretch.

Despite an early loss to Nebraska, Oklahoma State stands a legitimate chance of taking the Big 12.

 

The downside to this chance is that it exists due to the possibility that the quality of teams in the conference could be dwindling. While that isn't definite, recent occurrences bring that possibility to light.

 

First stop on the trip, Oklahoma.

 

OU, easily, is the best team in the conference at this point. The Sooners have posted convincing wins over UCLA, Alabama and Fresno State.

 

They have a suffocating defense, a strong offense led by quarterback Jason White and an impressive special teams. Does the name Antonio Perkins ring a bell?

 

From there, things level out, and then collapse.

 

Nebraska is ranked No. 15 at 3-0. This speaks leaps and bounds of OSU, the Cornhuskers only ranked opponent. It's hard to believe that only one year after a 7-7 season, wins over a struggling Penn State and OSU would be enough to climb the AP Poll ladder.

 

Not to mention the near impossibility that the ‘Huskers are back to championship form. Definitely not dominant.

 

Kansas State, without Ell Roberson, proved to be completely vulnerable against Marshall. When Roberson returns, they will be a different team, but the Wildcats have never been indestructible.

 

Texas looked solid this year, until Arkansas literally man-handled them in Austin. Now the Longhorns' toughness and physical play is under scrutiny.

 

Missouri is a ranked team, but why? This is the most baffling school of them all. Since when did a one-point victory over Middle Tennessee State get a team ranked.

 

They have played no one, except Illinois. But the Fighting Illini are 1-3. The Tigers are definitely overrated.

Colorado forgot how to play defense. Simple as that. They have allowed 47 points in each of their past two games. Granted they may make another amazing run, but at this point they aren't dominating anybody.

 

Texas A&M is feeling its way through a season with a new head coach. Yet the Aggies are a much more legitimate contender than Missouri or Colorado.

 

Iowa State isn't much without Seneca Wallace. They have to face a surprisingly ranked Northern Illinois team this week, and it is doubtful the Cyclones will prevail.

 

Texas Tech could be a contender if they did two things: learned how to play defense, and could actually score an average of one touchdown per 100 yards.

 

How do you put up more than 600 yards of offense and only score 21 points?

 

Kansas and Baylor conclude this tour. The bottom-feeders of the Big 12 are off to surprisingly good starts.

Baylor is 2-2. Even if they had played DeVry, University of Phoenix, ITT Technical Institute and Sylvan Learning Center, a .500 record is good for the Bears. However, they will never be Big 12 contenders.

 

Kansas is 3-1 this season, and quarterback Bill Whittemore could surprise a few people this year. They are not going to hunt down a Big 12 title this year, but they might upset Iowa State.

 

This is why Oklahoma State has a chance.

 

The Cowboys have a solid team, and they won't have to contend with as many dominant powerhouses as in the past.

 

At this point, the Nov. 1 showdown with OU could decide the Big 12 South. That may be premature, but at this point it is a distinct possibility.

 

Upsets and close shaves have several Big 12 teams down on their luck. And for OSU, the teams that have fallen have given the Cowboys weaknesses to exploit. OSU's weaknesses have yet to be seen. The loss to Nebraska can be chalked to off-season rust, and the rest of its schedule has been loaded with the empty calories of cream puffs.

 

They could take the conference simply by not showing too many secrets or weaknesses too early.

 

Along with the work he does for GoPokes.com and the O-State Sports Report, Matt Palmer is also the OSU football beat writer for the Enid News and Eagle. You can reach Matt at datguy01@hotmail.com


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