Oklahoma State Football: Cowboys non-conference slate ranked ninth toughest

With three bowl teams on the schedule, the Oklahoma State Cowboys non-conference slate was ranked as the ninth toughest by ESPN.

The Oklahoma State football program will no doubt head into the 2017 college football season with a ton of hype. Yet, we still have around eight full months until the regular season comes around. Until then, there is nothing but recruiting, fall camp, and spring games.

ESPN did a ranking of the 10 toughest non-conference schedules of all college football teams. OK State’s non-conference slate ranked ninth among all teams in the country. One of the teams the Pokes face this season, the Pittsburgh Panthers, were also listed in the same article at no. 1. Pitt has to face two teams likely to be in the top 15 rankings next season, if not the top 10, between OK State and the Penn State Nittany Lions.

OK State’s schedule starts on Sep. 2 against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater. Their next opponent is the South Alabama Jaguars on the road. And their last opponent is also the toughest, as they travel to Heinz Field to face Pitt.

The Panthers are the only team that the Cowboys face in their non-conference schedule last season that they meet again in 2017. Tulsa finished their 2016 campaign as a 10 win team. And the Jaguars finished 2016 as a bowl team that managed to beat Mississippi State on the road.

If nothing else, the Pokes will get quite a bit of recognition if they can sweep through their non-conference slate. Their non-conference schedule in 2016 made for quite a bit of drama.

Central Michigan obviously made for one of the wildest finishes last season. It’d be nice if the Pokes, and the refs and replay officials, can steer clear of a situation like that once again.

The Texas Longhorns are the only other Big 12 team on this list. They have to face the USC Trojans on Sep. 16 which should make for one of the best games to watch of any non-conference game featuring a Big 12 team. No doubt, OK State and Pitt will be one of the best to watch as well.

It seems like the 2017 season cannot come around fast enough, and it’s only February.

You can view the entire ESPN article here.

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