10 Games to Watch in 2017

Northwestern's Horatio Smith leaps toward the end zone in the 2016 game vs. East Central. Photo courtesy NWOSU Sports Info.

The 2017 football season is just around the corner now. Here’s the OSN list of 10 games to watch this fall.

Sept. 2 – Tulsa at Oklahoma State

Since 1945, each team has 410 wins* and each team recorded 10 wins in 2016. There will be many new faces on the TU at skill positions with many upperclassmen in those positions for OSU, hoping to jump start a Heisman campaign for Mason Rudolph. It’s a big game to open the home schedule for the Cowboys, and fans who make the trip to Boone Pickens Stadium can hope for no weather delay as in 2011, when the teams last met and the kickoff was at 12:16 a.m.

Sept. 9 – Oklahoma at Ohio State

The Buckeyes scored early and often in the third all-time meeting between the two, a 45-24 win in Norman. Oklahoma looks to even the series record at 2-2 under new head coach Lincoln Riley. Sure, OU went 9-0 and undefeated in the Big 12 following that loss, but it still stung. The Sooners will need a big defensive effort in the Horseshoe for a win.

Sept. 16 – Southwestern at Southern Arkansas

This matchup has been decided by a combined 15 points over the last five years. The winner could put itself in great position to be playing in the postseason.

Sept. 30 – Emporia State at Central

After back-to-back winning seasons, UCO dropped off some in 2016. By this point in the season, we’ll know a little more about this year’s Bronchos, who could have an opportunity to make a big statement at home against an ESU team that will likely be highly ranked coming into Edmond.

Oct. 7 – Northwestern at East Central

This rivalry became regular again with the Rangers’ entrance into the Great American Conference. In the last five games, the winner has put at least 41 points on the board each time. NWOSU owned the second half of last season’s contest and earning a 42-26 homecoming win, stopping ECU’s four-game winning streak in the series.

Oct. 7 – Southwestern at Southeastern

The Bulldogs were undefeated against in-state opponents last year. The Storm is the only D-II school in the state to come into this year with three straight winning seasons. After being shutout in Durant in 2015, 8-0, the Bulldogs won, 37-33, in the closing seconds in Weatherford in 2016. GAC title hopes could still be on the line for both teams when this one kicks off the month of October.

Oct. 21 – Arizona Christian at Langston

ACU came into the Central States Football League and has won the last two league titles. If the Lions are going to regain their dominance in the league, they will have to stop the Firestorm. ACU has won the only two matchups, taking last year’s contest, 34-10, in Pheonix.

Oct. 28 – Langston at Oklahoma Panhandle

The Aggies have a CSFL schedule again in 2017, but this time they will get to play for a league title, as they are once again NAIA members. The all-time series record is close (LU 25-22-1) and OPSU won the last matchup, 40-35 in 2015, but Langston won the last eight prior to that.

Nov. 4 – Oklahoma at Oklahoma State

Bedlam, course. But if you miss this game, you shouldn’t worry. This is probably going to be the matchup in the Big 12 Championship game a month later.

Nov. 11 – Oklahoma Baptist at Southern Nazarene

Southern Nazarene has won three games in the last four seasons and two of the wins have come over Oklahoma Baptist. For a series that is just two games old, a rivalry seems to have already been formed.

*According to michigan-football.com

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