This post is part of a larger post ESPN did on their 2012 OSU preview. Brian Fremeau of Football Outsiders posted his projections on ESPN Insider at the end of Travis Haney’s article the other day. You should check it out but if not, I’ve re-posted the highlights.
Brian Fremeau provides his projected record for Oklahoma State in 2012, in addition to the “swing” games on the Cowboys’ schedule. Projections are a function of the win likelihood of a team in each regular-season game, based on Football Outsiders’ F/+ projected team ratings and home-field advantage
Most likely result: 10-2 (35 percent likelihood)
Projection window: 8-4 to 11-1 (92 percent likelihood)
Swing games: vs. Texas, vs. TCU, vs. West Virginia, at Kansas State
They know this is the OSU in Oklahoma and not Ohio, correct?
The 10-2 number just stunned me. I mean go back 10 years, can you fathom saying “man, not sure how the Pokes are gonna be this year, might have to settle for 9-3 or 10-2, somewhere in there”???
Honestly, I’d take and 8-3 mark going to Norman to try and ruin their season.
The Cowboys pose an interesting test for our projection system since they lose their most dynamic offensive weapons from a unit that ranked among the top-5 in scoring and yardage each of the last two seasons. Most of the key contributors on defense are back, but is that a good thing? According to our opponent-adjusted data, it is.
The Cowboys gave up big yardage at times, but they frequently faced elite offenses (No. 3 in defensive strength of schedule), and a significant chunk of those yards came in garbage-time situations. Oklahoma State’s defense ranked 17th in points per opponent possession and ranked in the top-5 in points surrendered per explosive drive and per value drive.
If the defense can maintain that kind of situational success, a step back on offense can be weathered. The schedule unfolds nicely, with three of the four swing game opponents having to make the trip to Stillwater.
And Gundy has had his team prepared away from home, losing only two Big 12 road games in the last three seasons. Oklahoma will have a decisive edge on Nov. 24, but the Cowboys have a 23 percent chance of winning the rest of their games according to our projections. — Brian Fremeau
We really have to wait 12 more weeks…?