Big 12 Football: Jim McElwain gives false take on OK State

Jim McElwain (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Jim McElwain (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

One of the first games around the Big 12 football conference this week featured the No. 12 Oklahoma State Cowboys and longtime head coach Mike Gundy taking on the underrated Central Michigan Chippewas and head coach Jim McElwain.

Oklahoma State jumped out to an early first-half lead in this game, which saw them take a commanding edge into the locker room at halftime by a score of 51-15. But the Pokes had a difficult time closing out Central Michigan in the second half, leading to a closer than expected win by the final score of 58-44.

Despite the near second-half collapse for the Pokes, McElwain and the Chippewas still appeared to be high on what Oklahoma State can do in the Big 12 this season. Here’s some of what McElwain had to say about Oklahoma State and their potential outlook for the rest of the season following the Sep. 1 meeting between the Pokes and Chippewas (per postgame notes and statements from the CMU head coach).

Big 12 football is more wide open this season than Jim McElwain might think

"“That’s a hell of a football team we played. They’re going to be in the national picture as the season goes on. I can easily see them winning (the Big 12). They’ve got a complete team and they’ve got a quarterback who can make plays not only throwing the football but obviously with his feet.”"

The part I want to note here is the fact that McElwain said he could see Oklahoma State “easily” winning the Big 12 this fall. That is a pretty bold statement given the difficulties that the Pokes had in closing out Central Michigan in the second half.

There is also a murky picture at the top of the Big 12 early this season. A group of teams likely comprised of the Oklahoma Sooners, Baylor Bears, Oklahoma State, Texas Longhorns, and the Kansas State Wildcats all appear to be in the thick of this race in the conference early on.

We also won’t learn much about any of these teams at least until next weekend. Oklahoma, Baylor, and Texas are facing pretty easy opponents this weekend. And while Oklahoma State’s opponent was more difficult than the rest of the bunch, I still don’t think we learned much about them this week beyond that senior quarterback Spencer Sanders could be in for a big 2022 campaign.

The fact of the matter is that Oklahoma State could definitely still compete to get a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game this season. But we can’t really make a claim with any legitimacy behind it until Oklahoma State faces Baylor in Waco in Week 4.

Next. 4 bold predictions for Texas vs. ULM. dark

Texas and Oklahoma also have more difficult matchups in the next two weekends. Head coach Steve Sarkisian and the Longhorns are set to take on the No. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide on Sep. 10. Meanwhile, Oklahoma and new head coach Brent Venables will face a struggling Nebraska Cornhuskers team on Sep. 17.