Kansas will hit the road to face Oklahoma State in a mid-November matchup that has not gone well for Kansas since Mark Mangino left town. The Cowboys have won nine in a row against Kansas, and have (rather quietly, I think) won 10+ games in six of the past nine seasons. OSU has been bowling for 13-straight years as Mike Gundy prepares to begin his 15th season at the helm of the Cowboys.
Kansas @ Oklahoma State
Nov 16, 2019: Time TBD
Stillwater, OK: Boone Pickens Stadium
About the OSU Offense
The Cowboys only return 56% of their offensive production from last year, losing QB Taylor Cornelius and RB Justice Hill. However, leading WR Tylan Wallace will be just a junior this year as he looks to build on last year’s 1400+ receiving yards. It may be a bit of a rebuilding year for Oklahoma State on offense; that said, OSU has been recruiting well recently, with top 40 classes each of the last three years per Rivals, so I wouldn’t expect too much of a drop in offensive production.
About the OSU Defense
OSU returns 68% of its defensive production, but will be missing its top tackler (Justin Phillips) and top sack master (Jordan Brailford) from last season. Again, with the success OSU has had on the recruiting trail, I would expect them to be able to plug and play at this point, as they’re in a much better position depth-chart wise than someone like, say, Kansas.
Updated S&P+ projections aren’t out yet, but we do have a couple of rankings we can look at. Bill Connelly did a pre-spring S&P+ ranking back in February of all 130 teams and has Oklahoma State at #22, or second in the Big 12.
Meanwhile, Athlon also ranked all 130 teams in pre-spring as well in March, and has the Cowboys at #41.
For reference, the Jayhawks were ranked #107 by S&P+ and #106 by Athlon.
Again, this looks like a bad matchup for Kansas. Oklahoma State can make a case for being the second or third-best team in the Big 12 at the moment. Although the Cowboys seem to be losing a lot on offense, most of the offensive line will be back, which will help whoever wins the QB spot get comfortable through a rather weak noncon.
As mentioned earlier, Kansas hasn’t defeated OSU since 2007, and all of the matchups in Stillwater since then have been absolute blowouts. While Kansas tries to build up from the bottom of the conference, Oklahoma State is getting to the point where they just reload.
There is absolutely no reason to pick the Jayhawks here. Early indications are that Kansas will be nearly a four-touchdown underdog, the second-largest spread on KU’s schedule per updated S&P+ numbers. It could get ugly fast, folks, but here’s hoping Kansas can at least keep it respectable. Oklahoma State 48, Kansas 21.