Date/Time: August 31, 2013 3:30 pm EST
College Football Betting Odds from Bookmaker
College Football Betting Favorite: Oklahoma State -12.5
It’s a big SEC vs. Big 12 matchup in week one of the college football season. This one will be played on a neutral field in Houston. Oklahoma State has become one of the elite programs in the Big 12, and Mississippi State has been one of the most improved teams in the SEC over the last few years. How will this one shake out?
Mississippi State finished 8-5 overall last year, with a 4-4 record in the SEC. The team returns seven offensive starters and just five defensive starters from last year. The Bulldogs have been on a steady upward climb under Coach Dan Mullen the last few years, but this year will be a major test. The team lost a lot of key players on both sides of the ball. Mississippi State actually lost five of their last six games last year, so they don’t come into this season with any positive momentum.
Tyler Russell threw 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions for the Bulldogs last year, and he should be solid as the team’s quarterback. Running back LaDarius Perkins averaged five yards per carry last year, and he’ll get a lot of touches this season. Chad Bumphis will really be missed at the wide receiver spot. There aren’t any big play makers at wide receiver on this team anymore. Defensively, the Bulldogs have a lot of question marks. The secondary will be one of the worst in the SEC, and that could be a big problem this week against an Oklahoma State team that can definitely air it out.
Oklahoma State took a bit of a step back in 2012 with an 8-5 record and a 5-4 record in the Big 12. The Cowboys return 8 offensive starters and 7 defensive starters this year, and expectations are definitely higher in 2013. According to most sportsbooks, the Cowboys are the favorite in the Big 12. Phil Steele even called this team a darkhorse National Title contender. Clearly, this Cowboys team isn’t going to overlooked by anyone this season.
Oklahoma State has an interesting situation at quarterback. Clint Chelf and JW Walsh are both great options at quarterback, and they will both probably get plenty of playing time this year. You have to wonder if the team would be better off if one guy gets the job outright. One thing is for sure; whoever is at quarterback will have some great weapons to throw the football to on the outside. Josh Stewart might be the best receiver in the conference. This defense used to be a weakness, but they are much improved. Every unit on this defense has plenty of depth, and the linebackers stand out as a major strength. The defense returns 11 of their top 15 tacklers from last year.
Free Pick: Oklahoma State -12.5
Oklahoma State returns a lot more star power, and they don’t have nearly as many question marks. Mississippi State will likely take a big step back this year. I like the Cowboys here.
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