The state of Oklahoma is starting to look like Mississippi in 2014, other than their similarly classy fan bases. All three Oklahoma FBS teams look good this year, including Tulsa. The Golden Hurricanes led an impressive run in the most competitive G5 conference last year with a 10-3 record, losing only to Ohio State, Houston and Navy. Entering Philip Montgomery’s third season as HC, he is proving to be a dangerous offensive minded coach as an Art Briles protégé from Houston and Baylor (for whatever that’s worth nowadays). Although Montgomery lost quite a bit of his 2016 dominate 6th-best FBS offense, he is returning an explosive RB, D’Angelo Brewer, and a powerful defense that should cause problems for even a P5 offense.
Oklahoma State is entering 2017 with a high preseason ranking as a potential dark horse for the unstable Big 12. Other than an embarrassing early season 30-27 loss to Central Michigan, the Cowboys finished their 2016 season with an impressive 10-3 record. Oklahoma State is returning their dominant QB, Mason Rudolph, that has been talked about as a top five QB of 2017. If Texas is preseason over-ranked once again and Baylor sees a dip in performance with their coaching change (because they clearly aren’t from the NCAA), in-state rival OU appears to be the toughest team in their way of achieving their second Big 12 Championship. Tulsa ended their impressive 2016 season with a huge win over Central Michigan in the Miami Beach Bowl, something the Cowboys were apparently unable to do.
This early in-state game could prove to be a huge moment for Tulsa’s run at the AAC or reinforce what every sports writer has been blogging about since June, that Oklahoma State is a real Big 12 contender again.
Ohio State at Indiana
Other than unimpressive wins against the conference’s weak links, Maryland, Rutgers and Purdue, Indiana preformed about as well as we all expected in 2016. Will the Hoosiers beat Ohio State in 2017? Probably not, but if Satan decides to turn up the AC and Hell freezes over for a day, this would be an awesome start to a crazy Big 10 season.