September 20, 2011
The Big 12 scheduling system did Oklahoma State few favors in 2011. Really, the only one is catching Oklahoma at home two years in a row. Meanwhile, the Pokes will road-trip to Texas A&M, Texas, Missouri, Texas Tech and Iowa State.
Where that trip to College Station falls on the schedule might be ideal, though. Generally, if you are a top-10 team and have to face another top-10 team, you want it to be fairly early in the season or at the very end. Based on current rankings, OSU has both; No. 8 Texas A&M this Saturday for the fourth game of the season, and No. 1 Oklahoma on Dec. 3 in the regular season finale.
Win at A&M and you have really caught the attention of voters and set yourself up nicely when the BCS computers start spitting out data.
For a program like OSU - looking to make a BCS game for the first time in its history - there is no question you want to win every game on the schedule. If you do drop one, it is far better for it to occur in week four than week eight or beyond. And far better if it happens to come against a fellow top 10 team.
Where A&M falls on the schedule also sets up nicely for the Cowboys because it leads directly into a bye week. Win or lose, there is little doubt the Pokes-Ags game will leave both teams battered. OSU gets to take a week off, while A&M turns right around for a rivalry game in Dallas with 14th-ranked Arkansas.
The Aggies are a mild favorite playing in the friendly confines of Kyle Field. It's a huge game, and both OSU and A&M fans should enjoy the ride regardless of the outcome.
It could be the final gridiron matchup of the two teams for some time.