Over/Under 8 Wins () vs Oklahoma State Cowboys ()Date : 08/30/2018
Time : First Game: Missouri State Bears @ Oklahoma State Cowboys 8:00 PM
Location : Boone Pickens Stadium
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Over/Under 8 Wins vs Oklahoma State Cowboys
The Oklahoma State Cowboys have found a sense of consistency in being one of the top teams in the Big 12 as Mike Gundy has led this program to three consecutive 10 win seasons and has found himself as high as 4th in the AP rankings. The Cowboys have based themselves off their high flying offense over the course of the last few years as they have a high flying upfield attack but they will have to move on from two of the programs finest in QB Mason Rudolph and WR James Washington. Gundy will have to sort out who will be the signal-caller for the Cowboys but he has a ton of talent to surround whoever is given the starting snaps. The Cowboys like most teams have gone away from perfecting their defense as they have taken a score more approach to their gameplan but Gundy has made it apparent that he wants to change that moving forward. The Oklahoma State Cowboys ranked 72nd in total yard allowed which prompted the change at defensive coordinator as Gundy lured away the former Duke defensive coordinator in Jim Knowles who will inherit 7 starters from last year. Oklahoma State has to battle their in-state rivals in the Oklahoma Sooners for not only luring in some of the top-recruits from Oklahoma but in the nation as the Sooners have had more success over the last few years. Gundy was unsuccessful in landing a top 25 recruiting class as his 2018 signing groups ranked 33th in the nation with two 4-stars signing on.
Over/Under 8 Wins's Latest Performance :
Mike Gundy has built this Oklahoma State Cowboys program into a Big 12 contender year in and year out as he has led them to 12 consecutive bowl games and expect them to stay towards the top once again. The deadly offense led the Cowboys to a 9-3 regular season record as well as a bowl victory over Virginia Tech in the Camping World Bowl but they will need to replace many of those key weapons in 2018. Oklahoma State will have to replace their top 2 playmakers from the wide receiver spot as well as their QB but Gundy can make his offense work with anyone running it which prompted oddsmakers to set the over/under at 8 wins.
Can Oklahoma State Stay Relevant?
The Oklahoma State Cowboys are trying to stay within striking distance of their in-state rivals in the Oklahoma Sooners who have had a ton of success in the Big 12 over the last few years. The Cowboys will have the advantage of breaking in their young guys against an FCS foe in the Missouri State Bears as well a South Alabama squad who only won 4 games in 2017 but their next non-conference matchup will be tough as the Cowboys will host arguably the best group of 5 schools in Bosie State. The Cowboys will have a tough time with their Big 12 road schedule as they will have to travel to Kansas State, Baylor, Oklahoma, and TCU who are some of the top teams in the Big 12. Texas and West Virginia will be tough matchups at home but if the Cowboys want to stay towards the top of the Big 12 they will need to win at least 1 of those 2 matchups.
Oklahoma State Cowboys 's Latest Performance :
One of the toughest things for a college football team to do is welcome in a new signal caller after having your 3-year starter move on and that is just the problem that the Cowboys face this upcoming season. Mason Rudolph ran the high flying offense to perfection as he threw for 4,904 yards and 37 TDs during his senior season and Gundy’s biggest hope is that he can find someone just as good. There is no set starter for the Cowboys but the favorite out of spring ball is senior Taylor Cornelius as he has the most experience out of any of the other competitors. Whoever is taking snaps for the Cowboys will be in good hands especially in the run game as they return the top running back in the Big 12 as Justice Hill comes back to Stillwater after rushing for 1,467 yards and 15 TDs in his sophomore season. Unfortunately, the Cowboys lose their top two receivers from 2017 in James Washington and Marcell Ateman who combined for 2,705 yards and 21 touchdowns but they do still have talent at the WR position. Dillon Stoner and Jalen McCleskey had really solid seasons last year as a backup option as the duo both cracked the 500-yard mark as well as combined for 11 TDs but expect Stoner and McClesky to play a bigger role this season. Joining them at the WR position will be 4-star signee CJ Moore who is coming to Oklahoma State over Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, and Ohio State. The defense should be improved under Jim Knowles and although they return talent at every level of the 4-2-5 scheme they still have some question marks especially in the secondary. Jordan Brailford was a force from the defensive end spot last season as the redshirt junior was 2nd on the team in TFL with 11 as well as in sacks with 5, expect the 6’3 Oklahoma native to have a big year in the new scheme. The Cowboys will have to replace 3 starters in the secondary but luckily for Knowles, he brings back his best cornerback in junior A.J. Green. Green is a solid sized CB as he stands at 6’2 and he is a problem for opposing quarterbacks as he grabbed 4 interceptions last year which was a team best. Rodarius Williams (10 PDs in ’17) will join Green on the other corner which could prove to be one of the best CB duos in college football. Calvin Bundage and Justin Phillips should benefit the most out of anyone on the Cowboys defense as the duo should thrive in the 4-2-5 scheme from the middle linebacker spots, expect the duo to push 100 tackles this season.
Player To Watch
Dru Brown, QB, Grad Transfer
The Oklahoma State Cowboys will take the field with a new look offense as they will be missing some important pass catchers as well as a signal-caller and although Cornelius is the favorite to win the starting role due to experience in Bundy’s offense, Brown could push him. Dru Brown comes to Stillwater after spending some time at Hawaii and the California native was solid in the 25 games he appeared in as he threw for 5273 yards and 37 TDs. Brown was a late transfer as he wasn’t enrolling at Oklahoma State until this summer but if the experienced QB can learn the offense on the fly he could potentially take over the starting role. If Gundy doesn’t choose a QB before fall camp is over we should expect Brown to take starter snaps against South Alabama and Missouri State.
How Over/Under 8 Wins & Oklahoma State Cowboys Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Over 8 Wins -120
Under 8 Wins – Even
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
8/30- Missouri State- W
9/8- South Alabama- W
9/15- Bosie State- W
9/22- Texas Tech- W
9/29- @ Kansas- W
10/6- Iowa State- L
10/13- @ Kansas State- L
10/27- Texas- L
11/3- @ Baylor- W
11/10- @ Oklahoma- L
11/17- West Virginia- W
11/24- @ TCU- L
Overall Record: 7-5
Against The Spread Selection: Under 8 Wins - Even
My reason for the pick :
The Oklahoma State Cowboys have been consistent over the last 3 years with cracking the 10 win mark but unfortunately, they had a QB and WR duo that had some great chemistry that will be absent this season. The main reason that I see Oklahoma State going under the 8 win total is that they not only have to break in some new guys at some of the most important positions on the offensive side of the ball but they also have a tough slate of games. Oklahoma, TCU, and Kansas State will be trouble for the Cowboys as those are three of the toughest places to play in the Big 12 and with a new signal caller at the helm for Gundy, they may become rattled. I gave Oklahoma State the advantage of winning their home game against Bosie State but that is also another game that can cause trouble for a new scheme on defense as well as a new QB. Take Oklahoma State under the 8 win total as they will fall just short.