NewsOn6.com and OSU
STILLWATER, OK -- Oklahoma State faces one of America's most daunting football schedules when it opens the season Sept. 5. On the flip side, the Cowboys have the benefit of eight home games for the first time in school history and play their first Thursday night home game since 1995.
The Cowboys, who finished 2008 ranked No. 16 in the final Associated Press poll after a 9-4 season, square off against seven bowl teams from 2008, seven teams that won at least 10 games in 2008, five teams that were ranked among the top two in at least one of the two major national polls at some point in 2008, and three squads that were ranked No. 1 in the country during the course of the 2008 season.
"It will be another challenging schedule," said Cowboy head football coach Mike Gundy. "Everyone knows about the strength of the Big 12 Conference, but we play some good teams right out of the gate. We're excited to play eight home games for the first time in school history."
The Cowboys open play Sept. 5 when they face the University of Georgia. The Bulldogs opened 2008 No. 1 in the AP poll. Georgia ended the season with a 10-3 record and a win over Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl.
The Cowboys then host Houston on Sept. 12. The Cougars were 8-5 last season and knocked off Air Force in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. Houston was second nationally last season with 563 yards of total offense per game.
OSU remains at home on Sept. 19 against a Rice team that went 10-3 last season and claimed the championship of the Texas Bowl. The Cowboys and Owls will be meeting for the first time since 1923.
OSU's season-opening, four-game home-stand closes on Sept. 26 when Grambling visits Stillwater for the first time. The Tigers were 11-2 last season.
Texas A&M serves as the first road opponent and first Big 12 opponent of the season on Oct. 10 when OSU visits College Station. OSU's last road win against the Aggies came in 2003.
The Missouri Tigers serve as the Homecoming opponent for OSU when the two teams meet on Oct. 17. The Tigers were 10-4 last season and won the Alamo Bowl.
On Oct. 19, the Cowboys visit Baylor. The Bears were 4-8 in 2008 under a first-year staff.
The Texas Longhorns, fresh from a 12-1 season and Tostitos Fiesta Bowl title, visit Stillwater on Halloween. The last two games between OSU and Texas have been decided by a total of seven points. Texas was No. 1 in the country when the two teams battled last season.
The Cowboys travel to Iowa State on Nov. 2 to face the Cyclones. Oklahoma State has lost four of its last five games at Iowa State.
Texas Tech and Oklahoma State battle on Nov. 14 in Stillwater. The Red Raiders were 11-2 in 2008.
Colorado closes the home schedule for the Cowboys on Thursday, Nov. 19. The Buffaloes are 6-1 in their last seven games in Stillwater. The CU-OSU game has already been selected as an ESPN telecast, which resulted in the move to Thursday night. OSU's last Thursday night home game came in the 1995 season opener.
OSU closes the season Nov. 28 at Oklahoma. OU is coming off a 12-2 season.
2009 OSU Football Schedule
Sat., Sept. 5 Georgia Boone Pickens Stadium
Sat., Sept. 12 Houston Boone Pickens Stadium
Sat., Sept. 19 Rice Boone Pickens Stadium
Sat., Sept. 26 Grambling Boone Pickens Stadium
Sat., Oct. 10 Texas A&M College Station
Sat., Oct. 17 Missouri Boone Pickens Stadium
Sat., Oct. 24 Baylor Waco
Sat., Oct. 31 Texas Boone Pickens Stadium
Sat., Nov. 7 Iowa State Ames
Sat., Nov. 14 Texas Tech Boone Pickens Stadium
Thurs., Nov. 19 Colorado Boone Pickens Stadium
Sat., Nov. 28 Oklahoma Norman