2nd: Big 12
10th: Division I
2017 In a Sentence: The Cowboys finished 10-3 overall but sustained three losses within the conference (to rival Oklahoma, Kansas State, and TCU all at home) to be shutout of the Big 12 title game bid but did finish well with a Camping World Bowl victory over Virginia Tech.
Biggest Shoes to Fill: QB Mason Rudolph threw for 4,553 yards last year as was named the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given annually to the country’s outstanding senior college quarterback. Overall, he started all games of his final three seasons for the Cowboys and finished 13,267 yards and 90 touchdowns. He was selected in the third round of the NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Key Player: RB Justice Hill led the Big 12 with 1,457 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns. The now-junior was named an All-Big 12 first team. He will be asked to carry the load a little more with a new quarterback under center this year.
Fearless Prediction: Oklahoma State may have one of the top defenses in the usually offensive-happy Big 12. That should help the Cowboys to a Top 2 finish in the Big 12 and a place in the Big 12 title game. Expect a better finish this year for the Cowboys than last year.