Oklahoma State is 9-0 and three wins away from a national title appearance. Can they go all the way?
The Cowboys have one of the nation's top offense, but if they do, they'll be the second team in two years to buck a whole lot of history. ESPN Insider's Jeff Dooley explains.
The defense, meanwhile, ranks 22nd nationally in passing efficiency defense and first in turnover margin (its sacks and tackles for loss, two stats that have correlated with college football success, are also impressive). Those turnover margin numbers are made possible by an FBS-leading 31 takeaways.
That's the good news? The bad news, though? It's pretty simple.
OSU's 28.6 points allowed per game do not compare favorably to the marks set by the past seven BCS national champions. Couple this with the fact that the unit is allowing nearly 200 rushing yards per game, and you can see why there is cause for concern.
Faithful readers may recall that we made a similar argument against Auburn last season, identifying the Tigers' porous pass defense and less-than-SEC-champion-caliber scoring D as reasons why their championship run could be derailed -- the same Auburn team that went on to win the national title. This association shouldn't provide OSU fans with too much comfort, however. BCS champions of the past seven seasons have allowed, on average, 15.9 points per game. The Cowboys are allowing nearly 13 points more than that. Last year's Auburn team was the exception in this area, not the rule.
Auburn won the title last season while giving up just more than 24 points a game. Before that, though, none of the last six national champions gave up more than 20 points a game.
That lends a whole lot of credence to the "defense wins championships" battle cry, but what do you think? Is Oklahoma State's offense good enough to become another exception to the rule?
Vote in our poll.