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It’s a battle of OSU vs OSU, orange and black vs orange and black. For the first time in both school’s history Oklahoma State and Oregon State will square off on the gridiron. That’s assuming of course they don’t meet in a bowl game between now and then.

As ESPN’s Brett McMurphy tweeted, the home and home series will open both the 2019 and 2020 seasons for each school. Up first, the Pokes are scheduled to visit Corvallis on August 31, 2019, and the Beavers will return the favor by visiting Stillwater on September 5, 2020.

Mike Gundy has been against strong non-conference slates in the past; especially when it’s the season opener. OSU athletic director Mike Holder sees it a little differently though.

“It’s important for us to schedule competitive games non-conference,” Holder said at the end of the year according to the Oklahoman. “That’s all of us. Really the best way to build our brand is step outside our conference and beat some good opponents.”

“My football coach doesn’t want to play anybody any good, definitely, but jiminy Christmas, we looked pretty good against Florida State,” Holder said in reference to the 2014 season opener, which the Cowboys lost 37-31. “Until we beat OU, that was the highlight of our season.”

The Cowboys have played a power five school in their non-conference every year since 2011, but with Central Michigan, Central Arkansas, and UTSA on the schedule for 2015, the Pokes have received some flack. (Although Central Michigan shouldn’t be over-looked.)

“I’m stuck with that one,” Holder said. “It’s so cost-prohibitive (to get out of contracts). It’s over a million dollars. It’s problematic now. And you hate to leave somebody high and dry this late.”

The Pokes will get right back to playing a quality non-con starting in 2016 against Pittsburgh, and the announcement of the series against Oregon State keeps it going through 2021. After facing Pitt in 2016 and 2017, the Pokes play Boise State in 2018, Oregon State in 2019 and 2020, and Boise again in 2021.

It’s hard to tell what the teams will look like four to five years from now, but strength of schedule is becoming ever more important in today’s college football landscape. It’s great to see the Cowboys continuing to schedule power five teams.

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