Current College Football odds are favoring Oklahoma State by 23.5 points as they face Central Michigan. Find out whether we predict they will show up or flunk out in Week 1.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys will be looking to improve upon a 7-6 season last year when they open up on the road against the Central Michigan Chippewas. The Cowboys have a much more experienced team, a quarterback that got a taste of playing college football, and are starting off with a cupcake schedule. Will they be able to break the AP Top 25 and make an impact is the question?
Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, September 3rd at the Kelly-Shorts Stadium in Mount Pleasant. Michigan. Despite their 7-6 record, the Cowboys finished the season strong, winning a bowl game and are 23.5 point betting favorites on the road. Keep in mind before locking in your Week 1 College Football picks his game is a definite opportunity to make an impact where the Big-12 is concerned depsite playing a weak opponent.
All Eyes On Mason Rudolph
After a late season QB injury, Mason Rudolph finished out the last 5 games, coming out of redshirt and managed to make an immediate impact in the Cowboys offense.
He led his team to a huge Oklahoman upset with 273 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 38-35 overtime victory and was a monster nearing the 300 yard mark in the TicketCity Cactus Bowl in a 30-22 victory over Washington.
That injury at quarterback actually helped his collegiate career and he should show dramatic improvement this season as he has nine options to throw the ball to, as the Cowboys are primarily a passing team with question marks at the running back position.
Brandon Sheperd and James Washington
These are the two key receivers on this football team. Shepherd enters his senior season with an above average quarterback who is protected by a solid offensive line with the likes of 6 foot 6, 330 pound UAB transfer, Victor Salako. This will provide Rudolph more time to look for Sheperd, who is looking to crack the 1000 yard mark. Last season in the big win over Oklahoma, Sheperd caught 7 passes for 156 yards and 2 touchdowns and followed that up with a 98 yard, 1 TD performance in a 30-22 victory over the Washington Huskies in the TicketCity Cactus Bowl. Look for this kid to shoot out of the gates fast with Rudolph looking for his number.
As for Washington, he brings some youth as a sophomore after a 456 yard, 6 touchdown season. His big game of last season was a 114 yard effort against Baylor.
Things will also be easier on the defensive end of the ball with Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year in Emmanuel Ogbah. Ogbah finished the season with 11 sacks and 17 tackles for losses. There will be a bit of an overhaul in special teams, but you can see why there are such high hopes for the Cowboys and why they're favored by 23.5 points in current College Football odds for this game, coming off of a 7 win season.
A Tall Order
With a meeting against Michigan State in week 4, it appears that the Chippewas have a more difficult schedule than the Cowboys.
Several key losses will hurt this team as quarterback, Cooper Rush (3157 yards, 27 TD) will need to find a new go to target as Titus Davis and his 980 yards and 13 TD's graduated. Senior, Jessie Kroll, (582 yards, 4 TD) and junior, Anthony Rice, (321 yards, 1 TD) will look to fill the void left by Davis.
2nd leading running back, Deon Spalding, appears to have the lead as the starting running back as this position has some depth. He finished the season strong with an 154 yard effort against Eastern Michigan and 147 effort against Miami (OH) in early November last season with 2 touchdowns in each game.
The Chippewas also finished 1st in the MAC in defense (355.5 yards per game), but there's a significant amount of turnover. Defensive lineman Blake Serpa and Joe Ostman will be looking to pressure Cooper Rush.
Despite all these reasons why Oklahoma State deserves to be favored in this matchup, they are simply unable to cover the 23.5 points.
College Football Picks: Central Michigan +23.5 at 5 Dimes