2011 Oklahoma State Football: Game Pods and Predictions

I used this same method last season to make a 7-5 prediction, and figured since it was so accurate I should use it again.  Here is the explanation of how this works (quoting myself from a year ago is either badass or completely douchy):

Before I just jump into this, I should mention that I am not a big fan of straightforward predictions. I kinda feel like it is completely worthless in August for me to say; "O-State will for sure beat A&M, lose to Nebraska, upset OU, etc." since we have no idea what those teams, or our team, will be like.  What I prefer to do is something that is slightly less worthless, and divide the games up into pods of games that share similar characteristics, or might be interrelated somehow, then assign a record to that pod.  So it's a way to sorta stay out of the corner, while still making a season win/loss prediction. It's kinda P.

The same method holds true in 2011, although I would replace Nebraska with Mizzou, and the "P" joke with a "V" joke... we have progressed.  Now on to the pods.

Pod 1 The Slam Dunk Win Pod
Desc This is the pod made up of games that Oklahoma State would win at least 9 out of 10 times. Sure crazy upsets happen and things can go wrong, but these are the games where something would have to REALLY go wrong for the Pokes to drop one to the opponents below.
Games ULL, @Tulsa, Kansas, Baylor, Kansas State
Notes I bet that is a lot fewer slam dunk wins than any of us would have thought the Pokes would have on the schedule (and an argument could be made that Baylor and K-State aren't  slam dunks). I just can't say with absolute certainty that the Pokes are guaranteed winners in any game except these 5.
Record 5-0

Pod 2 The Road Trap Game Pod
Desc These are games against opponents that would have fallen into the Slam Dunk Win Pod if they were at home, but in enemy territory, the window of opportunity for upset is slightly open, and these games can't be taken for granted.
Games @Texas, @Texas Tech, @Iowa State
Notes Typing the letters I-O-W-A into anything but the Slam Dunk Pod was difficult, but I just can't rule out the possibility of an upset there. It really is the definition of a trap game - squirrely opponent, late in the season, on the road, right before biggest game of the season.
As for the Texas schools, no matter how down their teams may be, wins in Austin and Lubbock after Poke-win droughts of 56 years were only broken last season are not locks. Still, I don't think we fall for any trap games this season, but if we do, these are the candidates.
Record 3-0

Pod 3 The Arizona Pod
Desc There is always one game on the schedule that doesn't quite fit with the others, this year it is Arizona.
Games Arizona
Notes Arizona isn't quite a slam dunk win, but they are close. Calm down PAC fans... we aren't too far removed from OSU pulling out an effortless 26 point victory over the Wildcats in a game that frankly wasn't all that well played by the fellas in orange. And this game isn't quite a trap game as it is at home, and the 2 games surrounding it (ULL, Tulsa) will not be any sort of distraction. I don't see the Cats taking the Pokes down, but they are talented and could sneak up on an under-prepared team.
Record 1-0

Pod 4 The Conference Championship Round-Robin
Desc These are the 3 games against 3 of the 4 teams that have the best shot of winning the conference (Oklahoma State being the 4th obviously). In a perfect preseason prediction world, all 4 of these teams would complete the rest of their schedule with a 9-0 record, and allow this round-robin of games against the other 3 contenders determine the conference winner. Unfortunately Iowa State will upset someone in the ugliest game of the season and this will not come to fruition.
Games @Texas A&M, @Mizzou, OU
Notes Assuming the Pokes take care of business, these three games determine whether the 2011 rings say "Champs", "Co-Champs", "Runner up", or "Most Likely to Eventually Succeed". I hate, hate, hate that the A&M and Mizzou games are on the road, but I guess that is a decent trade-off for not having to go to Norman where a Sooner loss is about as likely as a Sooner fan starting a sentence with, "Back when I was in college...". All 3 of these games have the potential to be between top 15 or even top 10 teams, and all will be surrounded by a ton of hype. Personally, I think we drop 2 of these, but in an effort to represent CRFF's raging homerism, I will go with....
Record 2-1

So that puts the Cowboys at 11-1, which is 2.5 wins more than Vegas thinks they are good for. That's fine, we are homers, just like everyone else. I'm sure all A&M sites have the Aggies down for winning 12 games and finishing up the season by getting all weak in the knees because the SEC asked them to wear it's letter jacket.  Hell, I bet there are Kansas fans out there that have a full on raging homer-boner and are outlandishly predicting that the Jayhawks will win 3 games this year. 

It is yet again the year that Mizzou, A&M, or OSU are supposed to get over the OU/Texas hump and claim a conference title, and there is no reason for us not to be the ones to claim the Pokes will come out the victor.  Let me know which pods are right/wrong, and what your predicted record is.

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