The Oklahoma State football non-conference slate this fall is easy at first glance: there are no power conference opponents, and none of the three teams won a bowl game last season.
Look a little more closely, however, and these three teams will provide no cakewalk for the Cowboys. Tulsa is coming off its best season in years and returns nearly all of its starters on both sides of the ball. It’ll be a 1,400-mile trip for OSU to make it to the Mountain Time Zone on in Week 3 to face Boise State. Missouri State, though an FCS opponent, just had its most successful season in three decades and was a conference co-champion for the first time in three decades.
It would be a mistake for Oklahoma State football to look past its three non-conference opponents for the upcoming 2021 season.
OSU has won 11 straight non-conference football games in the regular season, with the last loss coming to Central Michigan. Most OSU fans have tried to block this controversial 30-27 loss to the Chippewas from their memories — completely understandable if that includes you.
The Cowboys were ranked No. 22 nationally and were heavily favored heading into that home game against Central Michigan. The lesson should be heeded five years later: don’t overlook this year’s pre-Big 12 group of opponents.