PFB - Who Could Replace Oregon State on OSU’s Nonconference Football Slate?

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Feb 17, 2018
Oregon State was a perfect tune-up game to kick off last season with a bang. And it was supposed to again be a perfect tune-up game to kick off this season, too, until the Pac-12 announced Friday night that it would be going with a conference-only schedule to accommodate the demands of the pandemic.

Now Oklahoma State has a hole in its schedule.

If the Big 12 doesn’t follow suit with the Pac-12 and the Big Ten and go conference-only too, that is.

So who could OSU find as a replacement for its originally-scheduled Sept. 3 season kickoff? Will OSU even find a replacement? I’m skeptical of a season happening this fall, much less nonconference games. But let’s play out a little hypothetical and scheme up some fun matchups that could happen in theory.

1. OSU vs. Alabama

Alabama is in the same spot as OSU: Because of the Pac-12’s decision to nix nonconference games, it no longer has a game on Sept. 5.

The Tide were originally set to play that night in a season-opener against USC in Arlington, Texas. So why not have them make the trip, only a few extra miles north to Stillwater? (Or heck, let’s just meet in Arlington!)

It’d be a great matchup between two top-25 teams on primetime, and it’d give OSU a chance to measure itself early on against a team expected to contend for the championship. Who wouldn’t want to see Chuba Hubbard hang 300 yards and three scores on Nick Saban?

2. OSU vs. Colorado State

Colorado was set to face in-state foe Colorado State, but now CSU is in need of plugging a hole that same weekend like OSU. What could go wrong?

At best, it’s a fine tune-up game for OSU after the Rams went 4-8 last season. At worst … [googles Central Michigan-OSU highlights] … well, never mind. Maybe we can punt on approaching CSU.

3. OSU vs. North Dakota State (

So here’s the thing about North Dakota State: It’s probably smart to never ever ever ever schedule them. But desperate times and whatnot, right?

NDSU was supposed to face Oregon but now needs a spot to fill on its schedule.

If OSU were so bold enough to make this call, it’d pit the Pokes with the reigning FCS champs who went 16-0 last season a year after Chris Klieman left for K-State. It would also pit OSU against quarterback Trey Lance, who is widely considered to be a first-round prospect in the 2021 NFL draft. (Yes, my palms are sweating just thinking about this one, too. I hope I’m not giving Mike Holder any ideas.)

4. OSU vs. BYU

If keeping the same day of the season-opener is important, then OSU could ring up BYU, which was originally expected to open its season on Sept. 3 (a Thursday, like OSU) against Utah. The Cougs are a solid team who went 7-6 last season but took down Tennessee, USC and Boise State. They aren’t a huge brand name but they would be solid resistance against OSU — and hopefully nothing more.

5. OSU at Hawaii

Because of season ticket packaging and scheduling, I’m operating under the assumption that OSU wants to keep its home-field advantage in a potential replacement. But if that’s flexible, might I interest you in a Hawaiian vacation? Hawaii’s first two games of the season — against Arizona and UCLA — are already canceled. So you know they’d be willing to make a move that nets them a power conference opponent. Why not fly out to the island and enjoy some R&R while opening the season in a beautiful locale?

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