Before we get deep into this post, we have to determine the definition of “best.”
In the case of sports, everyone views ‘best’ differently. Is it the game where your team destroys the opponent? Is it the game with the most exciting ending? Is it the hardest fought, back-and-forth game despite the outcome?
If you’ve read any of my work before PFB, I view “best” as an amazing performance against a quality opponent that Oklahoma State wins. (As much as I try and stay balanced in my opinions, I do bleed orange).
It’s the kind of game that ESPN replays in the off-season because it was just such a great example of competition and likely had a fantastic ending.
With that in mind, let’s look at the games which could be the best of the season for Oklahoma State.
While Pitt may be replacing a lot, the fact that this game is on the road should make it more interesting. It’s a non-conference road game against a Power-5 opponent. OSU hasn’t done that since 2012.
I thought about putting this higher because it could be a close one. However, if this game is close I fear it’s because OSU played poorly. That doesn’t make for a good game.
On the flip side, this Pitt team could turn out to be really good and put on a Pitt-Clemson-like performance from last season to give OSU a real scare. Rudolph hasn’t been a great road quarterback during his time at OSU, but he usually plays well at the end of games. If Pitt can compete, it could set up an exciting final quarter.
Just how good the Longhorns are going to be this year is an absolute crapshoot. They’re ranked in the top 25 in just about every publication, but are breaking in a new head coach and coaching staff and still haven’t decided on a starting quarterback.
All that being said, the last two season have provided Oklahoma State fans with some crazy moments. Two years ago it was a mad-cap, come-from-behind victory in Austin aided by a muffed punt by Texas punter Michael Dixon.
Last season was the game of blocked extra points, with OSU stopping three including this play of the year!
2. Kansas State
All I need to do for this one is point to the scoring margin between the two teams over the last eight years. Despite a 5-2 record against the Wildcats, the Cowboys have actually been outscored by 19 points over the last seven games. These games are usually close and hard fought. The kind that leave you on the edge of your seat to the very end.
Remember last year’s game? I was pacing back and forth across a Hideaway Pizza in North Little Rock about to lose my mind. That was a crazy, exciting game. It’s something we see often when Oklahoma State and Kansas State take the field. Look back at the history of games between the two teams: 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016. All close games. There’s no reason not to expect another edge of your seat close one this season, too.
Oklahoma finishes first for one reason; no win would be bigger. (I’m not counting a conference championship game or playoff win because those aren’t guaranteed and I’m not going to assume). You also know, you’re going to get Oklahoma’s best in Bedlam. For all the fans who to try and say this isn’t a rivalry, the only other game you see OU’s players seem to get up as big for are against Texas. It means something to them to beat OSU.
You can expect the Cowboys will get the Sooners’ best in Stillwater this year, which means the Cowboys will have to bring their A+++ game too. That should give us a wild one. Plus, getting this game earlier in the season, when both teams are (in theory) healthier than they would be the last week of the regular season, should only help add to product on the field.
If OSU wins this game, there’s no way another other regular season game will be better.