Game-By-Game Predictions for Oklahoma State's 2014 Season
An early season loss to West Virginia wasn't ideal to say the least, but Mike Gundy's team was still in position to win the Big 12 with a victory over rival Oklahoma in the regular season finale.
But Oklahoma State found itself on the wrong side of the scoreboard, with the program once again having to wonder what might have been.
Can the Cowboys find their way back into Big 12 title contention in 2014? It's possible, but it will take a monumental effort. While the offense should be just fine, the defense is going to have some major struggles next season after losing a ton of outstanding talent.
Also, the schedule doesn't do Oklahoma State any favors. Although the Cowboys' first true road game doesn't come until mid-October, opening the season against defending national champion Florida State in addition to road games at Kansas State, Baylor, and Oklahoma isn't exactly easy.
But will Gundy's squad overcome the defensive weaknesses and tough schedule to make it to the College Football Playoff?
Let's run through the schedule and predict how things will shake out in Stillwater.
8/30/14 - vs. Florida State (LOSS)
Unless Jameis Winston snatches up some more crab legs, there isn't a tougher opener in all of college football. This game will be played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, but unless the Dallas Cowboys are lining up against the Seminoles, Florida State isn't losing.
9/6/14 - vs. Missouri State (WIN)
The Cowboys should be good and angry after opening the season with a loss, so that doesn't bode well for the Bears in this one. Oklahoma State delivers a beating.
9/13/14 - vs. UTSA (WIN)
This was a high-scoring affair a year ago with Oklahoma State winning 56-35 in San Antonio. Expect more of the same this time around as UTSA doesn't stand much of a chance here.
9/25/14 - vs. Texas Tech (WIN)
It'll be nice to have the open date before this important Big 12 contest. Texas Tech shouldn't be anywhere near the top of the conference, but you know it will score points. This will be far from a defensive tilt, and it wouldn't shock me if both teams put up 40-plus points. Oklahoma State wins, though.
10/4/14 - vs. Iowa State (WIN)
Let us point out that we're five games in and the Cowboys have yet to play a true road game. But home or away, losing to Iowa State isn't an option. Oklahoma State is simply the better team.
10/11/14 - at Kansas (WIN)
Nothing like playing in Lawrence for your first road game. It's going to be another long year for the Jayhawks, so I think you know how this game will play out.
10/18/14 - at TCU (WIN)
TCU should be better than the dreadful 4-8 it was a year ago, but how much better? The Horned Frogs should easily return to a bowl with a lot of talent returning, and they'll find a way to make this game interesting. If Oklahoma State is to lose a game it shouldn't, this could be the one. The Cowboys will find a way to win it late.
10/25/14 - vs. West Virginia (WIN)
Oklahoma State will be looking for payback from last season and all signs seem to point towards them getting it. I just can't see Gundy allowing his team to lose in this spot.
11/1/14 - at Kansas State (WIN)
Will Kansas State be the most talented team in the Big 12? No. But will they give everyone a run for their money in Manhattan? You bet. A part of me wants to pick the Wildcats, however, Oklahoma State has too much talent on offense for the Wildcats to slow down.
11/15/14 - vs. Texas (LOSS)
Oklahoma State delivered a whooping to the Longhorns last year. Will the result be the same here? Probably not. People may think that it will take Charlie Strong a while to turn the Longhorns around, but in reality, it won't. Texas has a ton of talent on the roster, perhaps more than any other team in the conference. The Longhorns come into Stillwater and leave with a win.
11/22/14 - vs. at Baylor (LOSS)
Certainly not the road game that you want a week after playing Texas. Baylor won't be quite as dangerous as it was last season, but it'll be good enough to compete with Oklahoma for the Big 12 crown. That equals a win for the Bears.
12/6/14 - at Oklahoma (LOSS)
This is without question the toughest three-game stretch for any team in the Big 12. Getting Texas, Baylor, and Oklahoma in a row is a ridiculous challenge, and the Cowboys may not have the roster to keep up. The Sooners clinch the Big 12 title and an undefeated season with the victory.
Oklahoma State 2014 Projected Record: 8-4 (6-3)
How do you see the Cowboys faring in 2014? Will they be able to compete for the Big 12 title? Let us know your game-by-game predictions by commenting below! For more college football talk, follow FanIQ College Football or myself on Twitter!