Oklahoma State is for real

In years past, Oklahoma State was one of those flashy teams who could score a lot of points, win the games they should win by big margins, but could never win the big game against a highly-ranked opponent.  Well, that trend looks to be changing after last Saturday’s win against Texas A&M at College Station.  The Cowboys rallied from 17 points down at halftime only to come out in the second half and score 27 straight points to take a 30-20 lead and eventually finish with a thrilling 30-29 victory.  Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden threw for a school-record 438 yards and two touchdowns, one to All-American receiver Justin Blackmon, who finished the game with 11 receptions for 121 yards.

The Cowboys defense hasn’t been overly impressive as it pertains to giving up points (27.5 per game through four games).  But they have been making timely plays, and when you have the second-best passing attack in the nation (415.5 yard per game) and you’re averaging 46.8 points per game, you can afford to give up some points.  Their next big test will be on the road at Texas in three weeks followed by facing a surprising Baylor team at home.  If they can get past those two games unscathed and they are able to beat Oklahoma in their regular season finale, they can make a serious case for playing in the national championship game.  They still have a long way to go, but with their offense running on all cylinders, it’s certainly not out of reach.

The Gators can make a big splash in the SEC over the next two weeks

There has been a lot of talk about who is the best team in the SEC, LSU or Alabama.  LSU has the edge right now after beating three ranked opponents in Oregon, Mississippi State and West Virginia.  Alabama’s four wins have come a bit easier, but they still have beaten a few quality teams in Penn State and Arkansas.  The team that nobody is really talking about, though, is Florida.  They are quietly 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the SEC, winning those games by an average of just over 31 points per game.  But their next two games will tell us just how good these Gators are.

They face No. 3 Alabama next Saturday in The Swamp and travel to Baton Rouge to take on No. 1 LSU the following week.  Now, I’m not saying the Gators will win both or even one of these games.  But if they can knock off Alabama at home and/or go to LSU and escape with a victory, they will stir things up in both the SEC race and the BCS national title race.  Florida came into this season a little under the radar.  Granted, they were expected to win their first four games, but they didn’t just win those games, they completely dominated those games.  Quarterback John Brantley looks much more confident in Charlie Weis’ pro-style offense and running backs Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey are absolutely running wild, combining for 731 rushing yards and six touchdowns in the first four games.  Needless to say, the next two weeks in the SEC are going to be very interesting.

Submitted by Steve Giles