Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE
Yes, we lost Bedlam. But there is another sport that we are unbeaten in and ranked for the first time in five years, and that sport is Basketball. Yes Virginia, Oklahoma State is good at basketball again, and this holiday season has some solid opponents to test the Cowboys. There are seven games between now and 2013, and OSU has a good chance to win all of them to go 12-0 into conference play.
1. At Virginia Tech, 12/01/12
The only away game between now and New Years Day, Virginia Tech has a 6-0 record. They thumped Iowa 95 - 79, so the Hokes are looking decent. A 16-17 record sent them to the NIT last year, so the Hokies fired their coach Seth Greenberg after 8 seasons, and replaced him with former Clemson assistant James Johnson. Senior guard Erick Green leads the team with 24.4 points per game. The Hokies are 9th place in scoring in the NCAA with 85.4 points per game, so the Cowboys will have to score more than their average of 72. 2 points per game to win.
Prediction: VT is a dangerous team that plays in a rock solid basketball conference with a new coach that will be hungry for a first marquee win over a top 15 opponent. Playing in Cassell Colosseum doesn't help, but the Cowboys squeak one out. OSU 84 - VT 82
2. Vs. South Florida, 12/05/12
The Cowboys return home to take on the 4-2 Bulls. The Bulls, like the Hokies, play in a blue blood basketball conference. Last year, the Bulls went 12-6 in the Big East, not too shabby. They also went to the third round in the NCAA tournament, and they return many starters from last year. Another dangerous team.
Prediction: OSU 77 - USF 73
3. Vs. Missouri State, 12/08/12
Missouri State has only won two games this season, but it's not for a lack of trying. This is a team that is taking on the world. They've lost to #25 San Diego State, South Carolina in overtime, and to Southern Methodist by one point. The next three games they have scheduled could be called the "Cimarron Turnpike Basketball Corridor of Pain" as they will play Oral Roberts and Tulsa before they play us. Eventually, Missouri State is going to upset somebody.
Prediction: They won't upset OSU. OSU 73 - MSU 63
4. Vs. Central Arkansas, 12/16/12
The Bears of Central Arkansas have won one lopsided game against Hendrix College. One loss, to Arkansas State, was a buzzer beater game with the Red Wolves who hit a 3 pointer to win. This is the third year of coach Corliss Williamson, who was playing for the Sacramento Kings five years ago. We don't want to overlook UCA, but Oklahoma State should win handily.
Prediction: OSU 88 - UCA 70
5. Vs. UT Arlington, 12/19/12
2-1 on the season, the University of Texas - Arlington has lost to OU already this year, and will take on Texas before they play us. Will the third Big 12 school be the charm? The Sooners beat them by only four points, and the Mavericks had it tied before OU pulled away at the end. Here is another team that could bite us if we are not careful, but that we should in theory put away, especially at home, without any trouble.
Prediction: OSU 85 - UT Arlington 66
6. Vs. Tennessee Tech, 12/22/12
This is a team that throttled the Crowley's Ridge College Pioneers 107 - 32 to start the season. These guys need to be taught a lesson. They will play Auburn before us, but before that they are playing an uninspired schedule. Green Bay, Gardner-Webb, and Berea College are some of the headliners on the Tenn Tech slate, so the team will not be ready for the likes of a SEC and a Big 12 team in back to back games. I see this as an easy victory.
Prediction: OSU 94 - Tech 61
7. Vs. #12 Gonzaga, 12/31/12
This is the one fans are waiting for, a New Years Eve showdown between two (right now) top 15 opponents with a ton of talent. Gonzaga embarrassed Oklahoma 72-47 in the Old Spice Classic, and will take on Kansas State and Baylor before coming into what will hopefully be a cram packed Gallagher-Iba Arena. The Gonzaga Bulldogs recruit players like they are setting up a mock United Nations. Senior Elias Harris plays on the German national basketball team, senior foward Guy Landry Edi plays on the national team of Côte d'Ivoire, and this year the big recruit is Poland's own Przemek Karnowski, a seven foot freshman big man who can hit threes. Gonzaga will be tough.
Prediction: The Bulldogs are too tough to handle. OSU 85 - GONZ 92