Central Michigan vs. Oklahoma State Prediction: The Defense is There, but Does the Big 12 Have Enough Offense?

Head football coach Mike Gundy of Oklahoma State
Head football coach Mike Gundy of Oklahoma State / Nathan J. Fish/The Oklahoman / USA TODAY

There is so much change in the Big 12 right now and Oklahoma State is getting left out in the cold.

We are barrelling towards a Power 2 in college sports with the Big 10 (better known as Fox Sports Conference) and the SEC (or BIG ESPN). Oklahoma State might be the best program that will be left out. Sure the ACC has to figure a way out of their TV deal, but you know Clemson and Florida State will get a seat at the table. Oklahoma State will have to prove themselves to be a legitimate title contender to fight their way out of the Big 12 or to stabilize the conference that is on life support. 

That important season begins this week against a solid MAC squad, Central Michigan led by Jim McElwain. Oklahoma State is coming off a Fiesta Bowl win last year, but a tremendous choke job in the Big 12 Title game against Baylor. With a lot of talent back on Mike Guny’s roster, how will the Cowboys bounce back?

Central Michigan vs. Oklahoma State Odds, Spread and Total

Central Michigan vs. Oklahoma State Odds, Spread and Total Movement in Week 1

Oklahoma State is a big favorite and the spread has only grown. Earlier this week the Cowboys were a 20.5 point favorite, but that number is now at 22. The total has also gone up a half point. 

Central Michigan vs. Oklahoma State Best Bet and Prediction

I actually think that this line is moving in the wrong direction on both numbers. I generally feel good about Central Michigan and a lower scoring affair. I talked about all the changes that the BIG 12 is going through and another one is the defensive revolution. Oklahoma State is certainly leading that charge. This used to be the conference of nearly triple digit totals, but last season Oklahoma State had the ninth ranked scoring defense in the FBS and the fifth ranked defense in terms of yards allowed. 

That defense and specifically top 10 rushing defense will be tested against the Chippewas. While CMU did lose its two best offensive linemen to the draft last year, they return Lew Nichols III who rushed for 1,848 yards and 16 touchdowns in his freshman season. Even with losses on the line and at receiver, the 24th most efficient offense in the country last season will find a way to move the ball against Oklahoma State.

The thing about Spencer Sanders and the Cowboys, the First Team All-Big 12 quarterback rarely blows teams out. Early last season the Cowboys only beat Missouri State by six, Tulsa by five, and Boise State by one prior to conference play.

Oklahoma State will win tonight, but the spread has gotten out of hand.

Pick: Central Michigan +22

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