2014 Oklahoma State Cowboys Odds to Win the Big 12 with Picks & Predictions
by Aaron Smith - 8/15/2014
The Oklahoma State Cowboys started 10-1 before losing their last two games in difficult fashion in 2013. They were beaten at home by Oklahoma and outlasted by Missouri in the Cotton Bowl despite outgaining Missouri by almost 100 yards. Still, the Cowboys had a very nice season where they showed quality balance on both sides of the football. Their 49-17 win at home over Baylor was the highlight of the season for this team.
Oklahoma State has won at least 10 games in three of the last four years. Mike Gundy has proven to be a very good head coach as he enters his 10th year as the main man at Oklahoma State. Gundy will have one of the biggest tests of his career this year, though, because the Cowboys return only eight starters from last year's team. Even more concerning is the fact that they lost every player who won first team, second team, or third team Big 12 honors at the end of last year. Can the Cowboys reload, or will it be a rebuilding year?
2014 Oklahoma State Offense
The 2013 Oklahoma State offense certainly wasn't as dynamic as some other years, but there will still pretty good. After averaging 48.7 and 45.7 points per game in 2011 and 2012, the 2013 Cowboys averaged 39.1 points per game. The biggest change was the decline in quarterback play. J.W. Walsh and Clint Chelf were both very inconsistent in their play last season. Chelf is gone, and Walsh is the starter this year. I'm not that high on Walsh, so I believe Oklahoma State might be better off turning the reigns over to youngster Mason Rudolph earlier rather than later.
Desmond Roland is a nice power running back for Oklahoma State, and the depth at the running back spot is a strength for the Cowboys. The offensive line is no better than average, though, and that is a bit of a concern for a team that has had some very good offensive lines in the past few seasons. At the wide receiver spot, Oklahoma State lost a ton of talent. Three of their top four receivers from last year are gone. I do believe this unit will be alright, though, because Gundy has always recruited well at this position.
The Cowboys offense will likely be good, but I think they'll be down another notch from last year.
2014 Oklahoma State Defense
Here is where the significant problems for Oklahoma State start in 2014. Oklahoma State's defense was good in 2013, but they lost all their top playmakers on this side of the ball. This is a defense that I expect to be much worse in the year ahead. The Cowboys return only one guy who had more than 34 tackles a year ago.
The defensive front has improved the last couple seasons, but that stops this year. With Barnett and Johnson gone from last year's team, there are a couple holes that this roster won't be able to fill. Last year's defensive line had 19 sacks, but I don't see them coming even close to that number this season. At linebacker, the Cowboys lost two all-conference players in Shaun Lewis and Caleb Lavey. The three starting linebackers from last year's team started all 13 games, so there were very fortunate to not have any injury issues. They probably won't be as lucky this year, and Ryan Simmons is the only guy at this position with significant experience.
The biggest reason this Oklahoma State defense has been so good the last couple years was their secondary. That secondary looks a whole lot different this year. Oklahoma State lost six of their top eight players from this group. Justin Gilbert may have been the best cover corner in the nation, and he's a massive loss. Daytawion Lowe was a big loss as well since he was a stopper at the free safety spot. Opponents completed less than 54 percent of their passes against this group last year, but that number will jump this season. The safety spots are a huge concern, and this secondary looks very weak.
Overall, this is a defense that should be among the worst in the Big 12.
2014 Oklahoma State Cowboys Odds to Win Big 12
Oklahoma State is listed at 10/1 to win the Big 12 Conference, according to current odds from Bovada. The Cowboys are listed at 150/1 to win the national title. The season win total for Oklahoma State sits at 7.5 games .
2014 Oklahoma State Cowboys Picks & Predictions
This is a team I'm very low on heading into the 2014 season. They lost too much talent on both sides of the ball to not experience a large drop. I think Oklahoma State is in for their worst season in a long time. There's no way this team is going to win the Big 12 Conference, so save your money if you were thinking about betting on that. The season win total at 7.5 games is likely a bit too high, so I recommend looking at the 'under' there.
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Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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