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OKLAHOMA STATE FOOTBALL: A way too early look at 2015

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What the hell....we have time on our hands, right?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma State has been a trendy pick to challenge TCU and Baylor for the top spots in the Big 12, and that ideology will only grow stronger as we get closer to fall camp.

Since we have plenty of time and are overflowing with optimism, let's take a gander at that slate of games for the upcoming 2015 season...

at CENTRAL MICHIGAN, THURSDAY, SEP 3

1-0

Cue the Twilight Zone music.

Except it's Central Michigan, and it's the season opener. Gundy has the Cowboys notoriously ready for openers, so I don't care that this is a Thursday night on the road.

The Chippewas were 7-6 (5-3 MAC West) in 2014. Chalk this one up as a win, and get ready for the overreaction no matter what the result.

CENTRAL ARKANSAS, SATURDAY, SEP 12

2-0

Let's just say these two games are "central" to Rudolph having the chance to get his feet under him as he embarks on his first season as the starter (Sorry, couldn't help myself).

The Bears were 6-6 (5-3 Southland) and famously took Texas Tech to the brink in their 2014 opener.

No worries in Rudolph's home opener.

UTSA, SATURDAY, SEP 19

3-0

The Roadrunners couldn't handle Daxx Garman, and lost more experience than OSU did after 2013.

at TEXAS, SATURDAY, SEP 26

4-0

I might have said this is throwing Rudolph "from the frying pan into the fire," but he's already handled Waco and Norman.

Sorry Charlie, but this won't be 2014's Cowboys. If you're rolling out Tyrone Swoops at QB, well...

Strong came in with some fanfare, but he might still be a season away from "his" players beginning to impact the program. There wasn't a ton of "positive" flowing out of spring drills in Austin.

Interestingly enough, the home team has not won in this series since a 28-24 Longhorns victory in 2008 in Austin. Gundy has a chance to make it 4 in a row at DKR, and I think they pull it off. Unfortunately, I don't know if this will tell us much.

KANSAS STATE, SATURDAY, OCT 3

5-0

I think this could be where we start to find out what kind of team we have on our hands.

The Wildcats have some uncertainty at QB, and Tyler Lockett is gone, but the Purple Wizard is still in charge, so hang on tight. They will be prepared and will give maximum effort, so basically the polar opposite of Texas.

OSU gets it done, and the hysteria is now in full swing.

at WEST VIRGINIA, SATURDAY, OCT 10

5-1

Dana Voodoo.

Morgantown.

Holgorsen lives to suck the life out of our momentum. Dana always finds a serviceable QB, and his offense is going to move the ball, but they lost some significant talent at QB, RB, and WR. It will be hard to replace all of that.

Besides, I need to pick that screwy Cowboy loss or I will have drunk too much of the Kool Aid.

Not that I haven't already....

BYE, SATURDAY, OCT 17

KANSAS, SATURDAY, OCT 24

6-1

Oh...you thought I was going to actually expend mental energy talking about this game?

at TEXAS TECH, SATURDAY, OCT 31

7-1

It is Tech, but I have reservations about being on the road on Halloween in Lubbock.

The good part is that nothing is going on in the land of tacos and STD's that indicates football is making a comeback.

TCU, SATURDAY, NOV 7

7-2

If OSU manages to get here undefeated, this could be a special game, probably ESPN Gameday (TCU's schedule sets up well for them). Either way, I think it's a great game.

TCU is the only other Big 12 team with a truly settled QB situation (WV named a starter, but he hasn't played a game yet), and Boykin will thrive once again under Sonny Cumbie and Doug Meacham. The defense will be decent under Patterson, as it almost always is.

Unfortunately I think Patterson and the Frogs will be on a mission this season. The Cowboys will have a chance if they can run the ball.

at IOWA STATE, SATURDAY, NOV 14

8-2

If the Cowboys manage to get here undefeated, I'M NOT WATCHING. If not, it deserves the same amount of effort I put into Kansas. This should be Paul Rhoads farewell tour in Ames.

BAYLOR, SATURDAY, NOV 21

9-2

That Waco ass ain't makin' it out of Stillwater alive. They should watch the 2013 game film so they're prepared.

Briles has shown the ability to reload new talent, and we will all be curious to see who the new QB is. The stakes could be huge by the time the Bears come to Stillwater.

OKLAHOMA, SATURDAY, NOV 28

10-2

2012...OT
2013...a dropped INT and a last minute TD
2014...a stupid coaching decision, 92 yards of history, and OT

Like the old Jerry Clower Coon huntin story "JUST SHOOT UP IN HERE AMONGST US, CUZ ONE OF US HAS GOT TO HAVE SOME RELIEF!"

Mason...Bedlam blowout, please?

The Sooners have a little turmoil at QB, and even if that gets settled, they don't have anyone that is going to set the world on fire. Running back will be just the opposite, as Perine returns and Joe Mixon gets added to the rotation. All we need to keep in mind here is that if Perine doesn't get injured, Bedlam might have been a whole different story, even with Cody Thomas running their offense. Defensively, their DB's are a weak link, and I don't think that changes in 2015.

Not going anywhere near bowl speculation. This is way more than I should have imagined, but, oh well, the cat's out of the bag.

But I don't think it's all that far-fetched to imagine a pretty good season. Last year we all grimaced once things went downhill, but the Cowboys still ended up 6-6 in the regular season. With all the turnover in talent and uncertainty at QB for for the upper tier of the Big 12, plus Kansas, Iowa State, and Texas Tech being, well, Kansas, Iowa State, and Texas Tech, is it so ridiculous to think OSU has a legit shot of at least 3-4 more wins from this group:

  • Texas
  • Kansas State
  • West Virginia
  • TCU
  • Baylor
  • OU
Obviously a lot can happen between now and then. Injuries, off the field issues, unknown players (probably a QB) performing well, not to mention a goofy loss (I see you, Morgantown). But if the offensive line performs, there is no reason to think that OSU shouldn't be competing for the conference title. Nine wins in the regular season might be a minimum to avoid the word "disappointment," and 10 wins is definitely NOT a pipe dream. (With 3 non-conf wins, plus KU, Iowa State, and Tech, tell me you wouldn't be upset if the Cowboys only won 2 other games besides these 6...)

The other wild card in all of this is Gundy. If he returns to 2010-2011 form, where he let the offensive minds roll, this could be fun. If we see ultra-conservative play calling in their own end of the field, on 3rd and long, or replays of the 2nd half of the Cactus Bowl, then the recipe will be set to allow teams to hang around.

Let me know if you think I'm way off the range here. Who knows, after Grogan hits the game winner against Central Michigan, this will all be down the toilet before it gets started.

GO POKES!!!