The Oklahoma State Cowboys are starting to look like that #5 ranked team we saw a year ago. Under the leadership of often-animated head coach Mike Gundy, OSU has bounced their way back into the Top 25 and were ranked #22 as of October 10.
With an offense led by Brandon Weeden, who is edging dangerously close to 30, the Cowboys have had decisive wins over Louisiana, Texas A&M, and in-state rival Tulsa. As of October 13, Justin Blackmon had already racked up 748 receiving yards. If he stays on track, he will be well in line to have 1,000-yard season for the Cowboys. Those 748 yards are also leading the Big XII by nearly 200 yards, with Oklahoma Sooners receiver Ryan Broyles in a distant second with 518 yards.
Kendall Hunter was a powerhouse on the ground for Coach Gundy last year, before an injury put an end to his season. He has picked up where he left off from last year, as he is currently second in the conference in rushing yards. His even 700 yards is only trailing Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez by a mere 37 yards. If Hunter has a big day against Texas Tech on October 16, he could easily take the top spot. On the defensive side of the ball, Andrew McGee has already picked off three passes for 90 yards, and also forced a fumble. The 14 tackles through the first five weeks also hasn’t hurt much either.
The Cowboys have three potentially huge games left out of the remaining seven matchups this season. As you’ll see on the remaining schedule, the currently undefeated Cowboys will have a challenge keeping that record undefeated as they finish out conference play and try to slide into not only the Big XII Championship game in Arlington, but also try to get a respectable BCS game as well. Here is the remaining schedule for the Cowboys as they hope to finish out a successful 2010 season.
*Home games are BOLD
Oct. 16 – @Texas Tech
Oct. 23 – NEBRASKA
Oct. 30 – @Kansas State
Nov. 6 – BAYLOR
Nov. 13 – @Texas
Nov. 20 – @Kansas
Nov. 27 – OKLAHOMA (Bedlam)
Dec. 4 – BIG XII CHAMPIONSHIP GAME at ARLINGTON, TEXAS (Dallas Cowboys Stadium)
If Oklahoma State can avoid the injuries and drama that plagued their team last season, they should be in good shape to finish the season with hardly any scratches on their record. A year ago, they were ranked as high as #5 in the nation, but the season-shortening injury to Kendall Hunter and the highly-publicized season-ending suspension of Dez Bryant were major factors in the Cowboys midseason meltdown. They still finished with a respectable 9-4 record (6-2 in conference play) but those issues dashed any hope of taking home the conference trophy. The Cowboys, who lost three key starters to the NFL (Dez Bryant, Zac Robinson, and Parrish Cox), haven’t been extremely affected by those losses. They’ve bounced back into national ranking, and have a good chance of getting back to the way they performed a year ago when the season first started. Only time will tell, but don’t be surprised in a few weeks if you see Oklahoma State turning a lot of heads. The stats found in this article can also be found on the ESPN website and also at the FBSchedules website. For more information about Oklahoma State University, you can log onto the official university page.