Our group of revered sports journalists decided to put pen to paper regarding the state of the program as we prepare for homecoming against Baylor to kick off the second half of the regular season.
Many felt that the second half of the season would be much friendlier to the Cowboys given that there are four home games (Baylor/TCU/Kansas/OU) vs two road games (Iowa St/WV) in Big 12 play, however a 1-2 start in conference action has raised some serious questions. Without further delay here are our mid-season assessments and second half forecasts:
I honestly have no clue what to expect from this Cowboys squad entering the 2nd half of the season. I think they beat Baylor this weekend, somewhat convincingly at that. They're coming off a bye week which gave them extra time to stew about a horrible road loss and it's homecoming. They'll be prepared for the Bears. The real test of how much fight this team has left in them will come next weekend in Ames, Iowa. If they show up, take it to the Cyclones and escape with a W, the rest of the season sets up well for another epic Bedlam showdown. Hopefully Gundy can pick up his third career win as a coach against the Sooners. They’ll be heavy underdogs, a position the Cowboys have thrived in historically, so it has the potential to be a special game in Stillwater, regardless of how the season goes otherwise.
I can see them legitimately going 5-1 (with a loss to OU) or 2-4 (with wins against KU and WVU).
It's been another year of inconsistent offensive production and subpar defense. Only this time, the offense makes a little more sense because it's been attributable to a talented but inexperienced redshirt freshman at the helm. And to be fair, the defense hasn't been quite as bad considering the short fields they've had to defend. I think we'll see improvements and things start to click, but the most recent memory in my mind is not a pleasant one... Spencer Sanders said he wasn't gonna lose again though, so 6-0.
(If I'm not allowed to be positive, my realistic guess is probably closer to 3-3 or 4-2. I think they have 3 very winnable games and 3 tougher tests. They probably get one or two of the tough ones but could easily drop a winnable one too. Except Kansas.)
We actually have footage of Zach preparing to the write that first paragraph...
After the mind boggling loss to Tech, Spencer Sanders had a bit of a Tim Tebow moment and basically said that wouldn’t happen again. Now it’s gonna take more than words for that to actually happen but that’s how I want my QB reacting to a game like that. There’s quite a bit that has to happen if the Cowboys want to make a bowl game at this point. I think Baylor coming into town will be a big test.
I’m going with 4-2 to finish out the rest of the season with losses to OU and Baylor this weekend.
Heading into Homecoming, the Cowboys are where I thought they would be during the preseason; 4-2 with losses at Texas and Texas Tech. Moving forward, I'm debating which way to go. I originally predicted the same 4-2 record for the back half of the schedule with losses at Iowa State and to Oklahoma, and that still feels right. The question now is whether or not they drop another game they shouldn't. I feel confident in a win over Baylor. TCU at home doesn't feel like an "L" either. But that West Virginia game the week before Bedlam has scared me since before the season started. The Mountaineers aren't good, but they're improving. I'll stick with my original prediction but keep an eye on that trip to Morgantown as the swing game between a 7-5 year and an 8-4 one.
I’m feeling like 4-2 with losses at Iowa State and vs Oklahoma.
Other than Chuba Hubbard being way better than I thought he was, I really don’t feel like I know anything more about this team. Unlike last season’s Big 12 play when they won games they weren’t supposed to and lost games they weren’t supposed to, OSU has done both this season. The inconsistency and inability to open up the playbook has been debilitating at times and gives me little hope that the second half of the season will be any different than the first half as Gundy obviously doesn’t mind selling out two seasons to try and get to a great season (because of a QB) while we watch our two best offensive players depart for the NFL. Something to watch…after posting three consecutive seasons of six or fewer regular season wins to start his tenure as OSU’s head coach (2005-07), Gundy’s teams have failed to post at least seven regular season wins just twice (2014 & 2018) and haven’t posted consecutive regular seasons of less than nine wins. To keep that streak alive the Cowboys would need to finish the season 5-1.
Pretty confident the Cowboys will finish out 3-3 with losses to Iowa State and OU, along with another game to be named later that they should never have lost. If anything else happens I’m leaning 2-4.
Jump in the comments and let us know your predictions for the rest of the season!