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Could Oklahoma State Swap its Pac-12 Game for Michigan or Alabama?

How good would this Week 1 swap be?



As some of the country re-opens — including where I live and where most of you, Oklahomans, live — some of the rest of the country does not. For example, Los Angeles’ shelter-in-place orders have been extended three more months.

More broadly (and unimportantly), this means that the college football season — at least for the Pac-12 — is in a precarious position. Information started spilling out this week that the Pac-12 could be bumped to the spring even if every other conference plays this fall. This could mean that the Pac-12 only plays Pac-12 games. (It could also mean that the Pac-12 no longer exists as an organization or is even more vulnerable to being raided by another conference, but that’s another post for another time).

This could affect Oklahoma State in a few ways. The first is that it could create imbalance nationally if other conferences are playing but the Pac-12 is not. This changes the dynamics of the College Football Playoff and the way we view the sport as a whole.

More specifically, Oklahoma State has a Pac-12 team on its schedule in Week 1. Oregon State is slated to come to Stillwater following Oklahoma State’s trip to Corvallis last fall.

“I reached out to Oregon State about a few weeks ago to see what they were thinking at that point,” Oklahoma State deputy athletic director Chad Weiberg told Robert Allen recently.

“Remember a few weeks ago things were different as we were in the shutdown mode versus the opening mode. Just wanted to see what they were thinking and they were very much planning to be here with us to open the football season. I appreciated that and was glad to hear it because I think that is a great opportunity. Like we have said, if we have a football season then that will be one of the first college football games anywhere in the country and we will help kick off the season.”

Some of that may have changed, though, and now Oklahoma State — if the Big 12 plans to proceed as scheduled — might no longer have a Week 1 opponent to play. So if the Pac-12 ejects on the season, but everybody else is ready to go, could Oklahoma State match up with another team that was supposed to play a Pac-12 opponent?

This is certainly possible, and given the information that started to spill out on Tuesday, I think everybody has contingency plans on contingency plans going into the 2020 season.

So let’s have some fun with it. Let’s rank the potential FBS opponents Oklahoma State could match up with in Week 1 that could also be opponent-less if the Pac-12 is no longer a viable option.

1. Alabama (supposed to play USC): Oklahoma State has won 100 percent of the football games it has played against Alabama. Look it up.

2. Michigan (Washington): Whoooo buddy, this would be a great one and one Oklahoma State could actually win it. If I had to pick between the two, I’d probably pick Michigan over Bama. And if Alabama and TCU end up playing, Michigan-Oklahoma State is the other obvious “these are two quality programs and would be a terrific game” matchup.

3. UNLV (California on Aug. 29): The Kasey Dunn Bowl would be tasty.

4. BYU (Utah): Where do I sign for a BYU basketball-football multi-year series?

5. Hawaii (UCLA): Instead of a home and home, I will cover an away and away.

6. Colorado State (Colorado): The least appealing of the choices, but an easy win to start the year.

Ultimately, it’s probably more likely that an OSU-OSU game gets rescheduled as an OSU-Savannah State (or something like that) game to start the season if the Pac-12 doesn’t start when the other conferences start. Still, it’s fun to think about what a big-time matchup between Oklahoma State and another Power 5 school could look like if Oregon State bows out of Game 1 to start the year.

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