After 13 seasons with Mike Gundy at the helm, I think it’s finally time to resign ourselves to the fact that Oklahoma State’s football nonconference are going to be somewhat underwhelming on a yearly basis.
There have been some fantastic opponents — Florida State, Georgia, Mississippi State just to name a few — but as far as overall schedules go? Meh.
So where does this season’s nonconference schedule compare with past ones? Its certainly not one of the worst. That award gets split three ways between 2005. 2006, and 2015.
|2005||Montana State||at Florida Atlantic||Arkansas State|
|2006||Missouri State||at Arkansas State||Florida Atlantic||at Houston|
|2015||at Cental Michigan||Central Arkansas||UTSA|
There isn’t a single good game on that schedule. Not one. Forget the fact that there isn’t a Power 5 opponent anywhere to be seen, there isn’t even a good Group of 5 opponent. The only positive is that there isn’t another schedule like this in the foreseeable future (depending on how you view Oregon State).
That being said, it’s not one of the best either. That honor goes to 2007, 2009, 2014, and 2017.
|2007||AT GEORGIA||FLORIDA ATLANTIC||AT TROY||SAM HOUSTON STATE|
|2014||VS. FLORIDA STATE||MISSOURI STATE||UTSA|
|2017||TULSA||AT SOUTH ALABAMA||AT PITTSBURGH|
Every one of these schedules were solid for one reason or another without being earth-shattering. (Which is kind of the problem with all of Oklahoma State’s schedules, none of them are earth-shattering.) For some it’s a marquee opponent. For others (2017 specifically) it’s a solid collection of teams with no FCS teams in sight.
And then there’s the 2018 nonconference schedule with falls somewhere in the middle.
|Missouri State||South Alabama||Boise State|
I’ve complained about this season’s schedule before. I like Boise State but — and no disrespect — I’m not pumped about that being the best team on the schedule. Especially not when the other two opponents are an FCS team that went 3-8 last season and a South Alabama team with a whole new coaching staff that OSU beat 44-7 just a year ago.
That Boise State game is going to be fun and a challenge for this Oklahoma State team. I’m looking forward to it. Hell, OSU could very well lose that game. But it’s not enough to carry a nonconference schedule on its own. Not like a Georgia or defending National Champion Florida State.
All that being said, this is the perfect nonconference schedule for this team. Breaking in a new starting quarterback, new go-tos at wide receiver, and a brand new defense and defensive coordinator is a daunting task. Letting a team with that much “newness” begin their year against an FCS opponent and South Alabama before facing off against a good Boise State team in the third week of the season, is perfect.
So to paraphrase Commissioner Gordon, This is not the schedule we deserve, but it is the schedule we need.