The Cowboys are two weeks away from Big 12 play after three wins in nonconference scheduling.
They head into their bye week to try and get a few guys healthy and tighten up a somewhat rickety passing offense, while their next opponent, West Virginia, prepares for a trip to Maryland on Saturday.
It's somewhat of a "State of the Union" and somewhat of a schedule preview. Let's run through what lies ahead for the Cowboys, and a top-to-bottom touch on what's going on with every other team so far this season.
Week 3: OPEN
As I said before, Oklahoma State has a few things to work on these next two weeks, including tightening up a pass game that hasn't really shown up in two of their first three games.
Week 4: @ West Virginia (2-1), September 28th
The Mountaineers are shaky this season, but ran through Georgia State yesterday by the tune of 41-7. They struggled with Williams & Mary in Week 1, and lost by 9 at Oklahoma last week, and Dana Holgorsen's squad is trying to find an identity at this point. They've changed around their quarterback, and are hoping to figure it out against Maryland this weekend before the big bad Pokes come to town.
Week 5: vs. Kansas State (2-1), October 5th
That loss to North Dakota State in Manhattan week 1 was as ugly as it gets. The Wildcats knew it would be a down year compared to their Big 12 Championship season last fall, but they might be salvaging a bit more than they thought after the upset. QB Jake Waters has completed 67% of his passes, while they're getting a steady output from their running backs on the ground. They visit the Texas Longhorns next week, and will have a bye week before the Oklahoma State game, so there's plenty of time to make that one a doozie in Stillwater.
Week 6: OPEN
This will be a great place for an open date, as the Cowboys face three solid teams in the next three weeks afterwards.
Week 7: vs. TCU (1-2), October 19th
Don't drink the Kool-Aid just yet on the Horned Frogs. They're off to a slow start, but their losses come to LSU and @ Texas Tech (Who we'll get to in a minute). TCU is built around their defense, and their starting quarterback Casey Pachall will still be out for this game with a broken arm. It's essentially the same team that Oklahoma State handled last season, but anyone who watched that game knows the Horned Frogs have the talent to make it more interesting than 2012.
Week 8: @ Iowa State (0-2), October 26th
I shouldn't have to tell you that this game is a big one. It's the first time the Cowboys have gone back to Ames since the loss in 2011 that probably knocked them out of the National Championship game. I'd be lying if I told you this year's Cyclone team has the promise that that year's team did, as they're working through major issues up north, but anything can happen in that stadium, and we both know that to be true.
Week 9: @ Texas Tech (3-0), October 2nd
The Red Raiders are surprising people this season, and I'm really not sure why. Coach Kliff Kingsbury came in from Texas A&M, and has his black and red team playing great football. They're exciting, they air it out, and they rank in the Top 5 in passing yardage per game (400.0). They'll be coming off of a trip to Norman to face the Sooners when the Cowboys head to Lubbock, so they'll either be riding high after their second-straight win in Norman, or they'll be pissed off and looking for redemption. This could be a big, big game in the Big 12 when the time comes.
Week 10: vs. Kansas (1-1), November 9th
My, my. What in the world is going on in Lawrence. The fightin' Charlie Weis' lost at Rice this past weekend, and have to face Texas Tech, TCU, Oklahoma, Baylor, and Texas before travelling to Stillwater. The Jayhawks will be battered and bruised by the time this date comes up, and I don't see it being much of a game unless drastic things take place between now and then-Drastic things of the divine type.
Week 11: @ Texas (1-2), November 16th
It's another mess that has a much better chance of being straightened out by the time the orange and black ride in. Mack Brown's team has suffered 822 yards on the ground against them in the last two weeks against BYU and Ole Miss, both losses for UT. The Longhorns are missing their starting quarterback for the time being, but there isn't much optimism in the way of getting guys back for their defense after firing their coordinator after the BYU game. The talent's there because after all, it is Texas, but right now there's a bad, bad thing going on in Austin, and Mack might not even be around long enough to see this game from the sideline.
Week 12: vs. Baylor (2-0), November 23rd
It's a tough two-step to end the season for the Cowboys, as the Wacko's from Waco have been on fire lately. They rank 3rd in the nation in passing offense per game, 8th in rushing offense per game, and first in points scored per game. When this matchup rolls around, they'll come off a marathon game against Texas Tech, and it'll be interesting to see how much gas they have left in the tank after that one. Worth mentioning, Baylor has been historically bad at Boone Pickens Stadium, but this team is the type that could easily turn that around with 40 or 50 swings of quarterback Bryce Petty's arm.
Week 13: vs. Oklahoma (3-0), December 7th
The Sooners just switched to Blake Bell at quarterback after starter Trevor Knight was injured, and he shredded the Tulsa football team yesterday in Norman yesterday. It's not an OU team that you're used to (at least yet), but they're winning football games by riding their defense (9.0 points against this season, which is 4th in the nation) like crazy. I could easily see both of these teams being undefeated when this game rolls around, but Oklahoma still has to travel to Notre Dame next weekend, and has trips to Baylor and Kansas State before this end-of-year matchup. Even with that, this game almost always has Big 12 Championship implications riding on it, and I don't really see that changing this season.
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