OSU plays TCU at 11 a.m. Saturday. And a week from Saturday, the Cowboys play Iowa State at 11 a.m. in Ames. And the Cowboys' contest at West Virginia on Sept. 28 was an 11 a.m. kickoff.
Morning Cowboys? It's fine with OSU coach Mike Gundy.
“I think college football's supposed to be played during the day,” Gundy said. “Whether 11 or 1 or 2, that's the way college football ought to be. I like to play day games.”
Especially on the road, where a night game requires visitors to sit around a hotel all day and then get home in the middle of the night.
But for the foreseeable future, 11 a.m. kickoffs are going to be a lot more prevalent than in years past.
The new Big 12 television contract puts every league game on TV, and some of those extra telecasts will filter to 11 a.m. Last Saturday, for example, four Big 12 games were staged. Only Kansas State-Baylor was at 2:30 p.m. The others — OU-Texas, Texas Tech-Iowa State and TCU-Kansas — were at 11 a.m.
Of course, part of that is simply the Big 12's reduced status in the college football hierarchy. Fewer Big 12 games can be classified as marquee. The best games will be placed at 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. on FOX or ESPN. The 2:30 p.m. time slot will get others. The more pedestrian games will slip to 11 a.m.
Which is fine for Gundy.
JOSH STEWART READY TO FACE TCU SECONDARY
TCU is known for its defense. Its secondary, in particular. The Horned Frogs have picked off 10 passes this year, which is tied for 10th in the nation. And corner Jason Verrett leads the Big 12 with 11 pass breakups.
Challenge accepted, says OSU receiver Josh Stewart.
“We're excited as a receiving corps to go out here, because TCU's defense is hyped up,” he said. “People talk good about them. But this is where we show what our receiving corps has got.”
Stewart found plenty of success against TCU last season, catching six passes for 120 yards. Overall, the Cowboys totaled 324 passing yards.
GUNDY NOT SYMPATHETIC TCU MUST RETURN TO STILLWATER
Because of a scheduling quirk absorbed when TCU took Texas A&M's schedule upon joining the Big 12, the Horned Frogs must return to Boone Pickens Stadium for the second year in a row.
Does Gundy feel any sympathy? Not exactly.
“I had to go to places two years in a row myself,” he said. “I'd like for them to have to come here three years in a row. I like to play here.”
Most recently, OSU had to travel to Texas in both 2010 and 2011. But the Cowboys have also benefitted from such scheduling oddities, which were mostly created because of conference realignment. Those same two seasons, OSU hosted Bedlam.
By Gina Mizell and Berry Tramel