Oklahoma State enters the 2018 season tasked with replacing veteran standouts on both sides of the ball. At first glance, it might appear that head coach Mike Gundy impressed upon the athletic department to help ease the transition by lightening the Cowboys’ scheduling load. The non-conference slate includes one FCS club and no Power 5 conference foes.
A closer look reveals a game with what should be a top mid-major team and five road dates in Big 12 play. That’s not fun for a program in flux.
Oklahoma State Cowboys 2018 Schedule
Bye: Week 8
Week 1 – Sept. 1 vs. Missouri State (Stillwater, Okla.)
On the one hand, the Bears from the FCS ranks hung tough with Missouri last year before succumbing in a wild shootout to open the season. On the other, MSU finished 3-8. The Cowboys should start the season off right.
Week 2 – Sept. 8 vs. South Alabama (Stillwater, Okla.)
A rematch from a year ago when the two teams met on the Jaguars’ home turf. The Pokes will look for a repeat of that 44-7 blowout.
Week 3 – Sept. 15 vs. Boise State (Stillwater, Okla.)
The Cowboys and Broncos signed up for a home-and-home series that will have OSU traveling back to Boise in 2021. Boise State brings back loads of experience from the 2017 team that finished 11-3 and will probably be one of the strongest Group of 5 squads in the country. The Pokes have to watch out – the Broncos will want to make this a statement game.
Week 4 – Sept. 22 vs. Texas Tech (Stillwater, Okla.)
The Cowboys own a nine-game win streak over the Red Raiders, but the two teams have played some squeakers in the last two years. OSU won the last two meetings by a combined eight points. Can Tech get over the hump?
Week 5 – Sept. 29 at Kansas (Lawrence, Kan.)
In a stroke of luck, OSU’s first road game doesn’t come until week five. Even better, it’s against the lowly Jayhawks.
Week 6 – Oct. 6 vs. Iowa State (Stillwater, Okla.)
Since the Cyclones’ fateful upset of OSU in 2011, the Pokes have won six straight games in this series. The Cowboys survived a 49-42 scorefest in Ames in 2017.
Week 7 – Oct. 13 at Kansas State (Manhattan, Kan.)
OSU reaches the midpoint of the 2018 season with a trip to Manhattan. The confines of Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium haven’t been too friendly to the Cowboys lately, as OSU has lost two of its last three games there.
Week 9 – Oct. 27 vs. Texas (Stillwater, Okla.)
The Cowboys have owned UT since the start of the decade, ringing up six wins in eight tries versus the Longhorns since 2010. Another slugfest like last season’s 13-10 affair in Austin wouldn’t bode well for OSU.
Week 10 – Nov. 3 at Baylor (Waco, Texas)
OSU starts the last month of the season in Waco. Gundy and his staff will need to guard against a letdown game with the Sooners on deck.
Week 11 – Nov. 10 at Oklahoma (Norman, Okla.)
The last time the Bedlam rivals met, the two teams combined to put 114 points on the scoreboard. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, the 52 on their side board weren’t enough. They will be looking for their first win over OU since 2014, which came at Owen Field.
Week 12 – Nov. 17 vs. West Virginia (Stillwater, Okla.)
The Mountaineers will attempt to even their all-time series against OSU at five wins apiece this year. It’s possible this game will have some bearing on who goes to the Big 12 title game.
Week 13 – Nov. 24 at TCU (Fort Worth, Texas)
The Horned Frogs took some serious wind out of OSU’s sails last year when they pounded the Cowboys in Stillwater during the first month of the season. The Pokes will try to return the favor on Thanksgiving weekend in Fort Worth.
— Written by Allen Kenney, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Kenney is founder and editor of BlatantHomerism.com and host of the Blatant Homerism Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @BlatantHomerism.