2011 College Football Preview | (4) Oklahoma State vs Missouri

BetOnline.comA mid season match-up between the #4 Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-0, 3-0) the unranked Missouri Tigers (3-3, 1-2) isn’t usually too big a deal, but this year is a little bit different.

Cowboys v Tigers
Venue/Stadium: Faurot Field, Columbia, Missouri
Time/Date: 12:00 PM ET, Saturday, October 22, 2011
NFL Odds From: Betonline.com
Spread (ATS): Oklahoma State -7
Over/Under: 68.5

The Cowboys are fighting furiously to maintain their BCS ranking, while adding another victory to an eight game road streak. On the other side of the ball, the Tigers are playing to salvage a so-so season and show the world that they’re worthy of that invitation to the SEC.

Over in Stillwater, folks could be forgiven for wondering how they’re ranked at #4, while in-state conference rivals the Oklahoma Sooners (6-0, 3-0) are ranked #3. After all, the Cowboys have already knocked of two ranked opponents, and are #4 in the BCS standings and #6 in the Coach’s Poll. (Oklahoma has faced only one ranked opponents and is ranked #1 in the Coach’s Poll.)

There’s a good chance that OSU’s unblemished record will be in tact when they head out of Columbia on Saturday.

At age 28, Oklahoma State senior quarterback Brandon Weeden is one the oldest quarterbacks in college football, and he’s also one of the best. This season he’s already completed 189 of 260 passes for 2098 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Spending that much time in the pocket comes with a heavy price, eight sacks and six interceptions. But Weeden is a very versatile player who’s not afraid to run and should keep the Missouri defense on their toes all afternoon.

He’ll be facing a Mizzou squad that’s riding high after a much needed 52-17 blowout win over Indiana last week. The Hoosiers were the first unranked team the Tigers had seen since Week 3 and the last one they’ll see until Week 8.

Missouri quarterback James Franklin has been doing all he can for the Tigers, but it just hasn’t been enough against powerhouse opponents. Despite completing 116 of 189 for 1488 and 10 touchdowns, he’s been sacked nine times this season.

The good news for Tiger fans is that Missouri is playing very well at home this season. In fact, seven of those Franklin touchdowns have been in front of the home crowd.

On paper, the Cowboys and Tigers are a very even match, but numbers don’t always tell the full story. Oklahoma State is an up-and-coming program that’s always looking to get out from the shadow of that other well known Oklahoma team and their aggressive play reflects that fact.

Speaking of the other Oklahoma, it was about this time last year when Mizzou knocked off the #1 ranked Sooners 36-27 in Columbia, so they are more than capable of pulling an upset.

Oklahoma State is playing very well on the road this year, have knocked off ranked opponents and are serious contenders for a top tier BCS bowl. If those factors aren’t enough to motivate a Cowboy win on Saturday, it’s hard to imagine what would.

Matt’s Prediction: Oklahoma State 35, Missouri 28