Next season’s opener could be much testier.
OSU is considering a possible matchup with Mississippi State, to be played at Reliant Stadium in Houston in the 2013 season opener, a source with knowledge of the potential matchup told The Oklahoman Thursday.
The Cowboys are weighing the pros and cons of playing a second nonconference game outside of Boone Pickens Stadium. Currently, OSU is set to play at Texas-San Antonio and home against Lamar.
The Mississippi State game offers a national television game and big payday against an SEC foe, to be played in an area that is both a recruiting target of the Cowboys and a home to many alums and fans and current players.
But it would also result in just one nonconference home game, which OSU officials – as well as local fans and merchants – may not prefer. Other options for a home opener are also being considered.
OSU and Mississippi State have played four times, splitting the games. Most recently, the Cowboys won 42-23 in Stillwater in 1998, before losing the return game in Starkville the following year, 29-11.
Under coach Dan Mullen, Mississippi State has improved, going 21-17 in his three seasons. The Bulldogs finished 7-6 a year ago, beating Wake Forest in the Music City Bowl.
That’s a major step up from Savannah State, a Division I-AA program that has won 20 games the last 12 seasons.
The game with Mississippi State, likely to be pegged for Aug. 31, would complete OSU’s nonconference schedule for 2013.