live: Demonstration on George Floyd death planned for 2 p.m. in Normandeveloping: Curfew limits access to neighborhood around downtown OKC police headquartersbreaking: George Floyd died from 'asphyxiation from sustained pressure,' independent autopsy says

NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

The Oklahoman's 2015 OSU football predictions

An Oklahoma State cheerleader runs on to the field before TicketCity Cactus Bowl college football game between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Washington Huskies at the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., Friday, Jan. 2, 2015. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
An Oklahoma State cheerleader runs on to the field before TicketCity Cactus Bowl college football game between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Washington Huskies at the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., Friday, Jan. 2, 2015. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

As Oklahoma State prepares to take on Central Michigan in the season opener, The Oklahoman’s college football coverage team shared its picks for the Cowboys' season.


Who will be the Cowboys' MVP?

<p>OSU’s Mason Rudolph throws a pass during last year’s Bedlam victory against OU. <br/>[Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman archives]</p>

OSU’s Mason Rudolph throws a pass during last year’s Bedlam victory against OU.
[Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman archives]

* Kyle Fredrickson, OSU beat writer: QB Mason Rudolph – It’s no coincidence the Cowboys’ incredible turnaround last season took place just as Rudolph took over as the starting quarterback.

* John Helsley, OSU beat writer: Rudolph – His impact on last year’s team was immediate and remarkable. With an improved O-line, a stacked receiving corps and better run game, what’s next could be scary.

* Jenni Carlson, Columnist: Rudolph – He’s straight out of central casting, and if the script holds, he’ll have a big year.

* Berry Tramel, Columnist: Rudolph – When you have a quarterback, all is right with the world.

Who is the Cowboys' best player?

* Fredrickson: DE Emmanuel Ogbah – OSU fans should savor Ogbah’s relentless pass rush in 2015 as it’s likely he enters the NFL Draft as a projected first-round pick.

* Helsley: Ogbah – Already a sack-master, this guy is just figuring things out in some ways. And still he’s projected as a possible top-10 pick in the NFL Draft.

* Carlson: Ogbah – The unassuming star. His job is more difficult with new DTs, but the defensive end will still change games.

* Tramel: Kevin Peterson – Best player on a defense that just might be dominant.

Who is the Cowboys' most overlooked player?

A horde of Longhorns swarm OSU receiver James Washington in Texas' 28-7 victory on Nov. 15. (Photo by Chris Landsberger)
A horde of Longhorns swarm OSU receiver James Washington in Texas' 28-7 victory on Nov. 15. (Photo by Chris Landsberger)

* Fredrickson: LB Ryan Simmons – The senior linebacker’s leadership will be key if the young Cowboy defenders surrounding him continue to grow.

* Helsley: S Jordan Sterns – Ogbah, Simmons and Peterson made the Preseason All-Big 12 Team, but Sterns returns as OSU’s leading tackler and hardest hitter.

* Carlson: DT Vincent Taylor – Hard to overlook at 6-foot-3, 300-pound mountain of a man, but the DT will be big for the defense.

* Tramel: WR James Washington – Does anyone have any idea how explosive this sophomore receiver is?

Who is the Cowboys' best newcomer?

[img width="" height="" style="" render="w620"]3758161%25252525252525253Cspan%252525252525252520id%25252525252525253D%252525252525252522CmCaReT%252525252525252522%25252525252525253E%25252525252525253C%25252525252525252Fspan%25252525252525253E[/img]" data-mce-resize="true" data-mce-placeholder="1" />

* Fredrickson: OT Victor Salako – The UAB transfer fills an immediate need at left tackle protecting Rudolph, the Cowboys’ most valuable asset.

* Helsley: LB Jordan Burton – Junior college transfers typically take a while to get in the flow. Not Burton, who seized the “Star” linebacker spot in the spring and looked like a difference maker in the preseason.

* Carlson: RB Chris Carson – The running back has good returns thus far and will take pressure off Rudolph and the passing game.

* Tramel: Burton – He’s been awfully impressive in practice so far.

What will be the Cowboys' biggest game?

TCU’s Derrick Kindred intercepts a pass intended for OSU’s Brandon Sheperd as Sam Carter looks on in the fourth quarter of TCU’s 42-9 victory Saturday at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. 
                   Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
TCU’s Derrick Kindred intercepts a pass intended for OSU’s Brandon Sheperd as Sam Carter looks on in the fourth quarter of TCU’s 42-9 victory Saturday at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

* Fredrickson: vs. TCU, Nov. 7 – After its embarrassing 45-9 loss in Fort Worth last season, OSU will have revenge on its mind against a team with College Football Playoff aspirations still within reach.

* Helsley: at Texas, Sept. 26 – Not the game against the best team, rather the real indicator of whether the Cowboys can be in the league championship chase. A first real test, on the road, against a team looking to make a move up.

* Carlson: vs. TCU – The Frogs will be the first game in what could be a marquee November for the Cowboys.

* Tramel: TCU – Win that game and OSU will skyrocket when the playoff committee votes a few days later.

What will be the Cowboys' best win?

Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph passes in the third quarter as Baylor's Shawn Oakman tries to sack Rudolph on Saturday. The Bears had three sacks in their 49-28 victory. 
                   Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph passes in the third quarter as Baylor's Shawn Oakman tries to sack Rudolph on Saturday. The Bears had three sacks in their 49-28 victory. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

* Fredrickson: vs. Oklahoma, Nov. 28 – Mike Gundy gets his first consecutive Bedlam victories to solidify the Cowboys as the league’s third-best team.

* Helsley: vs. Baylor, Nov. 21 – The Cowboys have handled – manhandled, actually – very good Baylor teams in Boone Pickens Stadium. The Bears haven’t won in Stillwater since 1939. And it’s a trap game for Baylor, with TCU up just six days later on a Friday night.

* Carlson: vs. Baylor – The Cowboys have the Bears’ number in Stillwater. Beating them again could shake the national scene.

* Tramel: vs. Baylor – Bears might be undefeated when they come to Stillwater.

What could be a trap game for the Cowboys?

West Virginia’s Mario Alford, left, breaks away from Oklahoma State’s Ramon Richards on a 79-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter. Alford finished with seven catches for 136 yards.  
                 
                   Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
West Virginia’s Mario Alford, left, breaks away from Oklahoma State’s Ramon Richards on a 79-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter. Alford finished with seven catches for 136 yards. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

* Fredrickson: at Texas Tech, Oct. 31 – Stranger things have happened on Halloween Weekend.

* Helsley: at West Virginia, Oct. 10 -- There’s talk of an improved defense in Morgantown. And Dana Holgorsen will have an offense. The Cowboys were upset in their last visit there, costing them the 2013 Big 12 title.

* Carlson: at West Virginia – Last time the Cowboys were in Morgantown, they laid an egg. Will they be more on guard this year?

* Tramel: at West Virginia – The Cowboys lost in Morgantown in 2013, a game that ultimately cost OSU a Fiesta Bowl berth.

What will the Cowboys' record be?

Coach Mike Gundy talks to the Cowboys following the Oklahoma State University Spring football game at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, April, 18, 2015. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Coach Mike Gundy talks to the Cowboys following the Oklahoma State University Spring football game at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, April, 18, 2015. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

* Fredrickson: 10-3 – Cowboys fall to West Virginia, TCU and Baylor.

* Helsley: 11-2 – Cowboys lose to West Virginia and TCU

* Carlson: 11-2 – Odd-numbered years have become big for the Cowboys. Look for the trend to continue.

* Tramel: 11-2 – Cowboys could be 8-0 through October.

Where will the Cowboys go bowling?

Oklahoma State's Seth Jacobs (10) leads OSU onto the field before the TicketCity Cactus Bowl college football game between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Washington Huskies at the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., Friday, Jan. 2, 2015. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State's Seth Jacobs (10) leads OSU onto the field before the TicketCity Cactus Bowl college football game between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Washington Huskies at the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., Friday, Jan. 2, 2015. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

* Fredrickson: Sugar Bowl vs. Auburn

* Helsley: Sugar Bowl vs. LSU

* Carlson: Sugar Bowl vs. Ole Miss

* Tramel: Sugar Bowl vs. Georgia

Related Photos
An Oklahoma State cheerleader runs on to the field before TicketCity Cactus Bowl college football game between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Washington Huskies at the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., Friday, Jan. 2, 2015. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

An Oklahoma State cheerleader runs on to the field before TicketCity Cactus Bowl college football game between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Washington Huskies at the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., Friday, Jan. 2, 2015. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-80b4526fad28674d84edd7b02703d7d3.jpg" alt="Photo - An Oklahoma State cheerleader runs on to the field before TicketCity Cactus Bowl college football game between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Washington Huskies at the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., Friday, Jan. 2, 2015. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman" title="An Oklahoma State cheerleader runs on to the field before TicketCity Cactus Bowl college football game between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Washington Huskies at the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., Friday, Jan. 2, 2015. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>An Oklahoma State cheerleader runs on to the field before TicketCity Cactus Bowl college football game between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Washington Huskies at the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., Friday, Jan. 2, 2015. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure>
Berry Tramel

Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,... Read more ›

Jenni Carlson

Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football... Read more ›

John Helsley

John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was... Read more ›

Kyle Fredrickson

Kyle Fredrickson became the Oklahoma State beat writer for The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com in July 2014. A native Coloradoan, Fredrickson attended Western State College before transferring to Oklahoma State in 2010 and graduating in 2012. Fredrickson... Read more ›

Comments