Oklahoma State football: Realistic expectations for Cowboys in 2023

Wrapping up the 2022 season with a 7-6 record, Oklahoma State football fell way short of expectations, especially considering it had its starting quarterback back from the Big 12 title-attending team in 2021.

The Cowboys finished the season with even more disappointment in a Guaranteed Rate Bowl loss to Wisconsin and it felt like serious changes needed to be made.

All Mike Gundy did was go out and land over a dozen transfers that includes some immediate-impact players on both sides of the ball.

The defense took a major step back last season which attributed to some of the struggles while the offense was slightly above average. But Spencer Sanders is now gone after passing for over 2,600 yards and 17 touchdowns with nine picks and he’ll be replaced by redshirt freshman Garret Rangel who had 711 yards, four touchdowns, and five picks.

It’s going to be an interesting season for the Cowboys, but what are the realistic expectations?

Realistic expectations for Oklahoma State football

Oklahoma State has some serious question marks on the offensive side of the ball and I’m not completely sold on Rangel at quarterback. Maybe freshman Zane Flores could even come in and compete for the starting job with Rangel and Gunnar Gundy, but that’s not a position of strength heading into 2023.

The defense should improve and I think there are some winnable games on the schedule, but I’m not sure that the final record will improve much.

Looking at the schedule, Oklahoma State should begin the season 3-0 before suffering a loss at Iowa State which I think will be a better team this year than last. The Cowboys will get a bye and then split the Kansas State and Kansas games, both in Stillwater. They’ll lose at West Virginia, win at home against Cincinnati, and then lose to rival Oklahoma. They’ll split the Houston and BYU road games and then end the season with a win over BYU.

I think we’ll see Oklahoma State go 7-5 again and the floor would have to be 6-6 with a ceiling of 9-3. If the quarterback play surprises me, I could see eight-plus wins.