Last weekend Oklahoma State went to Lubbock and beat Texas Tech in a wild 70-53 shootout. It was the kind of game we’ve come to expect from the Cardiac Cowboys this season. Down early, they spent much of the game battling back to steal the win as the clock ran down to zeros.
Although it hasn’t been pretty, the Pokes are rolling along at 8-0 this season. However, at 12th in the AP Poll, the Pokes are the lowest ranked undefeated team among Power 5 conference schools. So we’re asking… Buy or sell, Oklahoma State is the best team no one is talking about?
The Oklahoma State offense is currently scoring an average of 44 points per game, and ranks seventh nationally. That’s a little bit surprising considering most Cowboy fans would tell you this is a team that’s being carried by their defense.
The Cowboy’s defense is giving up 23.1 points per game which ranks 46th overall nationally. Not an elite number, but this is the Big 12. Even in giving up 53 points to the Red Raiders, the defense found a way to shut down the Red Raiders in the second half, holding them to just two touchdowns in the final 30 minutes of the game. One of which they got back with a pick six in the final seconds to put an exclamation point on the game.
To put the offensive and defensive rankings into perspective, the Cowboys offense is scoring at least five more points per game than teams like LSU, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Stanford while their defense is giving up, at most, two points more per game than those same schools.
The offset to the Cowboys statistical prowess is the argument that they’ve played a weak schedule so far. Oklahoma State’s current strength of schedule according to the Sagarin Ratings is 70th. Not exactly near the top, but it is close to #1 Ohio State’s 68th ranked schedule and far better than #2 Baylor’s 104th ranked schedule. While they might be close to those two schools in terms of schedule strength, they clearly lag behind teams like Alabama who have the ninth toughest schedule and Clemson who have the 28th toughest schedule to date.
They’re also barely squeaking by the weak part of their schedule, while teams like Baylor and TCU barely seem to break a sweat.
A 3-5 Texas team that was just manhandled by Iowa State was a botched punt (and a little bit better officiating) away from knocking off the Cowboys. Both Kansas State and West Virginia are 0-4 in conference play, but the Cowboys needed a last second field goal to beat the Wildcats, and the Mountaineers took the Pokes to overtime.
The only conference foe the Pokes have beat handedly is Kansas, but there’s something to be said for winning the close games.
After ESPN’s Gameday was in Philadelphia last week to cover an undefeated Temple team the question on the mind of Cowboys fans is simple: Are the Cowboy’s the best team that no one is talking about?
[pollcaster widget=”poll” id=”7jxXNJUCnEwNnVQaC27kqqrVnjo” width=”100%” height=”auto”]