2018 is gone and 2019 is here. That means its time to pull out our crystal balls, and dabble in the mystic arts to try and predict what will happen with Oklahoma State athletics in this near year. Lots of wild, unpredictable, and unforeseeable things are going to happen this year in and around Stillwater, and our hope is to guess a few of them.
I’ll give my predictions a shot before Matt Harris’ get posted later today.
Josh Henson is the Next Oklahoma State Offensive Coordinator
While nothing is official, at this point we would all be shocked if Mike Yurcich is the Oklahoma State offensive coordinator next year. That means, for the first time since 2013, Mike Gundy will be on the market for a new man to run his offense. He likely won’t look that far.
Gundy has said previously that his next offensive coordinator would have a connection to the program, rather that’s as a former coach or player. Josh Henson, the current offensive line coach checks both of those boxes.
Henson has previous offensive coordinator experience, running the Missouri Tigers’ offense from 2013-2015. Granted, his offenses rated 13th, 73rd, and 127th nationally, but let’s not forget just how big of a mess that 2015 season was.
Gundy hasn’t previously promoted a guy on the staff to become OC before, but if he was going to, Henson checks a lot of the boxes; an “OSU guy,” one of the team’s best recruiters, a coach players seem to love, and someone who would likely stick around for awhile.
One thing though, if Henson does become the OC, Gundy would have to hire a quarterback coach, as that’s not really Henson’s wheelhouse.
I just think he’s the most likely candidate at this point.
Mike Boynton Lands a 5-Star
The 2019 class is taken care of, so Coach Boynton can really start grinding away at putting together his class of commits for 2020. He’ll have as many as five scholarships to offer in the class, which should give him a lot of opportunities, and a lot of playing time to use to sway some top targets.
Boynton has already proven he can recruit, landing three 4-star players in his first true class. I think he can take it one step further for 2020 and nab a highly coveted 5-star. Whether it’s Cade Cunningham, Isaiah Todd, or someone not yet offered, I just feel like it’s going to happen, and soon.
Sure, it might be a little harder to do, with a 2018-19 season that’s likely going to disappoint, but I have real faith in Coach Boynton as a recruiter, and think he’s able to do it.
Tylan Wallace will NOT win the Biletnikoff
When Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy caught the game tying pass in the SEC Championship game, you just knew he was going to win the Biletnikoff trophy for 2018. Did he deserve it? No, but after being named finalists, Jeudy had a “Biletnikoff moment” while Tylan Wallace’s final performance, against TCU, left a lot to be desired.
So while Wallace didn’t bring the trophy home this year, he’s going to go into 2019 as one of the favorites to snag the trophy. The problem is? The competition is going to be good.
For one thing, Jerry Jeudy will be back in Tuscaloosa for another season. For another, Jalen Reagor is going to likely have a really good season next year. Also, did you happen to catch the Cotton Bowl and see what true freshman receiver Justyn Ross did for Clemson? He’s going to be GOOD next season. That’s not to mention guys like Colorado’s Laviska Shenault Jr. who missed three games with injury and was easily one of the three best receivers in the country until that point.
The point is, while Tylan Wallace was good, and should take another step forward next season, I think the competition is going to be too great next year. Will he be in the running? Hell yes. I’m just not sure he come bring the trophy home.
Oklahoma State Football’s 2020 class will finish top four in the Big 12.
It may not sound like an aggressive prediction, but only two of Oklahoma State’s last five classes (2014-2018) have finished in the top four in the Big 12 (2014, 2016).
At the moment, the class is ranked No. 2 in the conference and 16th nationally, with just four commits. That said, it’s really early, so there’s not a lot to take away from that.
However, with all the pressure on Mike Gundy to recruit better, and the likelihood of more money being invested into recruiting, I have to think we weren’t going to see the real results in the 2019 class. If OSU is going to do a better job on the recruiting trail, 2020 was going to be the first time we saw real results.
Oklahoma State is legitimately in the running on a number of four star prospects, including in the state of Oklahoma. If they can sway a few more to sign than they did with the 2019 class it wouldn’t be hard to see OSU finish with a top 4 class in the Big 12 and a class ranked nationally in the upper 30s.
Oklahoma State Wins Back-to-Back Golf Championships
The defending National Champs haven’t been quite as dominant as a team to start the 2018-19 season, winning just two of their first five tournaments. I don’t think that really matters.
The team returns four of the five golfers who helped the team win the title in Matthew Wolff, Viktor Hovland, Austin Eckroat, and Zach Bauchou.
While the Cowboys won’t have the home course advantage of playing at Karsten Creek, and the fantastic home crowd presence, they won’t have to travel too far. The 2019 NCAA Championship will be played at the University of Arkansas’ home course in Fayetteville, Arkansas, which should be a pretty easy drive for Oklahoma State fans.
You could also argue there will be less pressure on the Cowboys to win this year than there was last year. The top seed, considered one of the best teams ever, playing on their home course, in the midst of the longest title drought in program history. There was a lot on the line and failing to capture the title would have felt like a major let down.
This year though? There’s still pressure — there always is — but it’s not as intense as last year.
Golf is funny. The best players and teams don’t always win. It’s about who gets hot, how the course plays, and so many other intangibles. But having some of the best players in college gives Oklahoma State and edge that should help them become the first back-to-back champs since Alabama in 2013-2014.