It seems like it's taking years for the college football season to roll around, but that won't stop us from previewing the 2012-13 season for the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Every season has its story, whether it's the game that somewhat derailed a season like the early matchup at Arizona last year to the Iowa State blemish on an otherwise perfect season in 2011 (Sorry for bring it up).
This year, the goal is the same for the Pokes. Thirteen wins, a Big 12 Championship, and a National Championship is the simple checklist that they have as they prepare for it this summer.
With that, we here at OSI are counting down the top 5 games of 2013, and why they're big games before OSU begins to climb the mountain that is their season.
No. 5: vs. Baylor, Boone Pickens Stadium, November 23rd
The Cowboys have had Baylor's number for quite some time now until 2012. That's when Heisman winner Robert Griffin III had left Waco, and the Bears were supposed to go back to their ways of being easily beaten year in and year out.
That wasn't what happened in 2013, as Baylor took it to the Pokes in a 41-34 drubbing that wasn't anywhere near as close as the score suggests. OSU hung around on the scoreboard somehow, but it was Baylor's ballgame from the opening kickoff.
This year, the matchup with Baylor is placed in the third-to-last week of the season, and is followed by a bye week and Bedlam. The game against the Bears could make or break any rhythm that Oklahoma State might have built up by then. It's extremely realistic to believe that the Cowboys could be in contention for a Big 12 Championship at this point, and a late-season trip up could put even more stress on that Bedlam game two weeks later.
The matchup itself is even more interesting. Baylor returns running back Lache Seastrunk, who rushed for 178 yards against the Pokes, including a 76 yard touchdown sprint that ended with the back outrunning Justin Gilbert on a pulled hamstring for the last twenty yards.
Outside of Seastrunk, the Bears love the high-octane offense that is extremely similar to Oklahoma State's, with the only difference being that their emphasis is placed more on screens and long balls than OSU's mid-range focus.
If Oklahoma State builds rhythm throughout the year, their late-season matchup with Baylor in Stillwater screams "Trap Game" in the same way that it did last year when the Pokes seemed to overlook the Bears.
Check back soon for No. 4 on our 'Top 5 Matchups in 2013' series.