We’re now less than 100 days away from the start of the 2019 football season, which, let’s be honest, is still too far away.
But, the beauty of the off-season is the opportunity to project, prognosticate, and spend time breaking down what’s to come. So with that in mind, let’s take a look at Oklahoma State’s 2019 schedule and rank each of the 12 games by their level of difficulty.
Let’s start with the bottom half:
12. McNeese State
Oklahoma State’s lone home non-conference game is week two against a Cowboys (yup) team that went 6-5 last season.
McNeese will be the first of five teams OSU will face this season breaking in a first-year head coach. The Cowboys hired former South Florida and Texas offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert this offseason to try and help a team that averaged just over 20 points a game on offense.
Look we could do a deep breakdown, but let’s be honest; it’s an FCS team. It’s not a question of whether or not OSU will win. The question is, by how much.
11. Kansas Jayhawks
There won’t be a single coach this season I will be more excited to see on OSU’s sideline than Les Miles. Sorry to Coach Gleeson, but the Mad Hatter making his return to Stillwater for the first time since he went off to Baton Rouge in 2004 has me as giddy as a tyke on Christmas morning.
As for the game... it’s Kansas. I might have had this game higher on the list if it was in Lawrence, but it’s not. Les might still have enough madness left to made Kansas a winning program, but it won’t be this year.
10. Kansas State
I think new head coach Chris Klieman is going to work in Manhattan, I do, but he’s not going to have a lot to work with in year one. I know OSU lost last year to a K-State team that finished 5-7, but there are a couple of things going for the Cowboys here.
First, this game is in Stillwater. That should give OSU the edge. Second, OSU has a better roster and should have a better quarterback. And three, and most important, no more Snyder magic. OSU and K-State played some close match-ups through the years. I always think Snyder had a lot to do with that. With the wizard gone from the Little Apple, I think this is a game — and series — OSU should start winning more.
9. at Tulsa
The only reason I have Tulsa ranked ahead of Kansas State is because this game is on the road. Yeah, it’s only about 70 miles from Stillwater and there will be a large contingent of OSU fans in the crowd — probably more Orange and White than Blue and Red to be honest — but it’s still away from familiar confines of Boone Pickens Stadium.
Also, while Tulsa has struggled the last two season — going a combined 5-19 — the Golden Hurricanes are expected to finally put it together this season.
OSU should win this game, handily, but with the team traveling to Texas the following week, this feels like it could be something of a “trap game”, thus, I ranked it here.
8. at Oregon State
This game has the feel of the 2008 season opener at Washington State. An OSU team without a ton of expectations heads more than a thousand miles away to face a... bad... Pac-12 (ten then) team. They smashed Wazzu 39-13 on that day. I’d be shocked if this year was any different.
Still. Opening the season 1,900 miles away from home with a new offensive coordinator, new starting quarterback, and a defense replacing it’s entire defensive line, isn’t an easy way to start a season. And at least one sports writer ($$$) is pointing to this game as a potential unexpected upset.
That’s why this is ranked 8th, because the potential for some #Pac12AfterDark exists, but is FAR from likely.
7. West Virginia
Not to be a broken record, but OSU, at home, against a head coach in his first year? Yeah give me Gundy.
I really like the Neal Brown hire. Like, REALLY like it. That said, I like it long term, not in year one. Not with as many players as they lost from last season, and that’s not counting the post-spring practice transfers.
Now, Neal Brown is the guy who took Troy into LSU and won two years ago and knocked off Nebraska last year. Oh, he also won at least 10 games three years in a row, something that hadn’t been done at Troy since it moved up to the FBS level.
OSU should win this one by double digits. But, you should never take a good coach lightly.