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Oklahoma State Cowboys: The New Face of the Big 12

Oklahoma State Cowboys
© Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

With the departure of Oklahoma and Texas to the Southeastern Conference, the Big 12 Conference is searching for its new lead program. Look no further than Stillwater, Okla., as the Oklahoma State Cowboys are poised to take the reins and lead the Big 12 into the future.


The Cowboys and coach Mike Gundy return 19 starters from a squad that played in the 2023 Big 12 Championship Game, losing to Texas 49-21. Of the listed starters, 10 are seniors, so this roster is experienced.


Oklahoma State Uniform
Photo Credit: Alex Blackburn/College Football Dawgs

Oklahoma State Cowboys Offense

Quarterback Alan Bowman struggled early in 2023 but recovered enough to finish the season with 3,460 passing yards, 15 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Gundy feels Bowman will be better in 2024.


“So, Alan has done a really good job to adapting to our culture and buying in to Oklahoma State University,” Gundy said. “I think the experience that he brings to our team, the respect and the players’ belief in him at this point, benefit us the most at this time.”

Gundy made these remarks on July 9 at the Big 12 Media Days event in Las Vegas. Audio of his remarks can be accessed here and here.


All-world running back Ollie Gordon II, is back after leading the FBS in rushing yards with 1,732 and finishing second in rushing touchdowns with 21. While Gordon was arrested on June 29 for Driving Under the Influence, Gundy announced that Gordon would not miss any time this season. The Cowboys' offensive line is experienced and considered one of the best in the conference.


Oklahoma State Cowboys Defense

 The Cowboys defense struggled in 2023, finishing 122nd in the FBS giving up 441.8 yards per game. With nine starters returning on defense, Gundy feels with a few adjustments the defense can be very good.


“We got a very athletic defense in my opinion,” Gundy said. “I think we can run and get to the ball. We’ve made a few adjustments scheme-wise from last year. We’ve worked toward that. I think our players will have a better feel for our system and will allow us to play faster and get to the ball, and we need to tackle better.”


The Cowboys return their top 4 tacklers, three of which had at least 100 tackles. Junior linebacker Nick Martin led the Cowboys with 140 tackles in 2023.


Oklahoma State Schedule

The out-of-conference schedule isn’t daunting. The first three games are against South Dakota State and Arkansas at home then at Tulsa. The Cowboys very well could be 3-0 in these games.


The conference slate has a Week 4 matchup with the Utah Utes. Of the four road games, only Kansas State should present a threat. West Virginia at home the week after playing at Kansas State could be tricky.


Stay tuned to College Football Dawgs for more on Oklahoma State and the Big 12.




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