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Marshall-Boone Roundtable: Resetting Expectations As Kansas Game Looms

OSU still has plenty of goals ahead of it, even if the season has slightly gone off the rails.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

Two weeks ago, a 41-34 win over Texas to bounce back from a double-OT collapse at TCU seemingly put the Pokes back into pole position to be one of the two teams last standing in the Big 12 title game. But after a 48-0 beatdown on Saturday at the hands of Kansas State, a date this Saturday against Kansas suddenly looms larger than expected as the Cowboys barrel headfirst into the homestretch of their conference schedule.

So what do we make of how things stand now? Should we readjust expectations? Will we still be pumping out game content the first week of December from Dallas?

I grabbed Marshall to help me try to reset expectations based on how quickly things seem to have changed the last few weeks.

KB: The double-OT loss at TCU was a gut punch. But a win over Texas the next week seemed to put the Pokes back on track. So what in the entire Milky Way galaxy happened last weekend in Manhattan? And can we at least partly blame you and Devin, since you were the only two PFB staffers on site? That feels only fair!

Marsh: Because he is not here to debate it, I say we put the full blame on Devin. He got some great shots of the K-State field storming that probably won’t get the pub they deserve because we run an OSU site.

KB: OK, but real talk, OSU is 6-2 overall and 3-2 in league play. Far from dead yet in the Big 12 race, even if its ranking at No. 18 in the initial CFP rankings suggest its chances to make the playoff are probably toasted. What does OSU need to turn things around in a hurry?

Marsh: To start, win. It doesn’t matter how it comes Saturday. Injuries are plentiful right now, so this tough stretch gets only tougher. Where the Big 12 title game was at the front of everyone’s mind, I think it’s time to forget about that. If the Cowboys get in, great. But now it feels like it’s about winning game by game — coach speak.

KB: Should we try to readjust expectations based on what happened last week at Kansas State? It felt like appearing in the Big 12 title game was very much within the realm of possibilities. Now, with TCU surging and K-State looking like a sudden juggernaut, I’m not so sure how to feel.

Marsh: It’s still possible. The Big 12 is a mosh-pit this season. But it’s out of the Cowboys’ hands now. All the Pokes can do is win and see where things land at the end.

KB: So there’s four games left. Two home games — Iowa State in a week and West Virginia to close the regular season — along with two road games — Lawrence this weekend and Norman in two weeks. Break down how you think that goes. I’ll go first.

@ Kansas: win

vs. Iowa State: win

@ Oklahoma: win

vs. West Virginia: win

OK, wow, so I didn’t actually plan to go full sunshine-pumper there. But yeah. That feels right. OSU is definitely going to be favored in two of those games, maybe three. Then the road game at OU is a legit toss-up. That OU team is not very good right now. I think they win out and make it interesting down the stretch as the Big 12 title race tightens. What say you?

Marsh: As crazy as it sounds after last week, I’d also go:

@ Kansas: win

vs. Iowa State: win

@ Oklahoma: win

vs. West Virginia: win

This game against Kansas could be sticky with Spencer Sanders’ status as up in the air as it’s been. And none of these will be easy. OU all of a sudden looks like it will be a dogfight. It was all fun and games when Oklahoma did absolutely nothing for four quarters against Texas … but that was with a backup QB. Even with Sanders last Saturday, OSU went nowhere. I think all of these games could be toss ups, but I’d give OSU a 51% to 60% chance to win each.

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