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Oklahoma State Football: Game Pods and Predictions

Time to start getting hyped y'all (do we still say that? Did we ever say that?).  Students are back, the weather has turned to "bearable", and football is back in seven days! In honor of all of this, I figured it was time to make a win/loss prediction for the 2010 season.

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.

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 shit can go wrong, but these are the games where something would have to REALLY go wrong for us to lose. (Note: this group is smaller than in recent years)
Games Washington State, Troy, Tulsa
Notes I could easily be convinced to pull Tulsa out of here and into the next pod. Their gimmickyness scares me a little.  The other two I consider to be no-doubters.
Record: 3-0

Pod 2 The Baylor Pod
Desc. Baylor gets it's own pod this season.
Notes They are a scary team, and will probably pull off some decent wins this season, but being that it is at home, and that we seem to match-up very well with with them, I have a lot of confidence in this game. Basically I feel like this game is a win, but Baylor is a little too good to stick into the slam dunk pod. Way to get your own pod Baylor!
Record: 1-0


Pod 3 The Trap Game Pod
Desc. Just what it sounds like.  Games that could almost fit into Pods 1 or 2, but because of where they fall on the schedule, the conditions surrounding the game (location, odd day), or potential match-up problems, they fall under the trap game heading. Talented, young, inexperienced teams are more prone to trap games.
Games @ULL, @Kansas State, @Kansas
Notes I think @ULL is obvious, and sandwiched between A&M and Tech, it is pretty much the definition of a trap game. Then there are the two road games in Kansas... really a bad break in scheduling.  Neither of these teams are scary on their own, but I don't like the idea of playing two "looking to make a splash"/rebuilding Kansas teams on the road. Also, @ Kansas falls between Texas and OU on the schedule.
I think one of these games will get us.
Record: 2-1


Pod 4 The I'll believe it when I see it Pod
Desc. Match-ups that are just historically terrible for the Cowboys. Maybe you can make a case for winning these games based on the on-field matchups, but we have made that argument many other seasons, yet the results never seem to change.
@Texas Tech, @ Texas
Notes Oklahoma State in Lubbock: 2-13-3, last win in 1944, last tie in 1956, lost 9 in a row.
Oklahoma State in Austin: 1-16, only win in 1944, lost 11 in a row.
So unless it is 1944, let's not plan on either of these wins until a streak is broken.
Record: 0-2


Pod 5 The Potential Home Upset Pod
Desc. Teams that are ranked better than us, have more potential heading into the season, and will be favored in the matchup, but the games are at home, and each game has some factors that our in our favor.
Texas A&M, Nebraska, Oklahoma
Notes While A&M is the "darling" heading into the season and I'll admit, they do look to be loaded... the scheme change raises legitimate questions about the defense, and the offensive line is unsettled with new guys playing in new places. Thursday Night game in Stillwater with both teams looking to impress on national TV, this game will be huge... and I'm not ready to give anything huge to Sherman and Johnson until I see it happen. (was that sentence sexual?)
If Nebraska can move the ball, I will give them the win in Stilly. But I wouldn't count on Oklahoma State being held under 20 points all season, and right now I can't guarantee that Nebraska can score 20 on the road in the Big XII.
As for the Sooners, I will always leave the door open for a Bedlam win at home, no matter how lopsided the teams (not that I think this years teams are lopsided, just making the statement).
Record: 1-2 (I am really tempted to make this 2-1.. I am feeling some home upsets this season)

So what is that.. 7-5? Ya... 7-5.  Which seems about right when you go game by game. On the surface I like to say we are an 8 win team, but when I actually go through the schedule, 7 probably feels more right.  Now of course all this will change, A&M could come in with a loss, Baylor could come in undefeated, and Nebraska fans could waltz into Stillwater all svelte and tan.  But for right now, these are my pods, and 7-5 is my feeling. Argue away. Name calling and sexuality questioning is encouraged.