If the Cowboys are going to get back into the Big 12 title conversation -- not that they've fallen completely off the map -- they're going to have to start by beating TCU, a team that comes into this one fresh off a victory over Kansas.
The Horned Frogs are hanging their hats on defense this season; the offense has been unreliable, but they've had that stalwart defensive unit to fall back on, as usual. TCU ranks 16th nationally in total defense this season and 21st in rushing yardage allowed. The latter might be concerning for Oklahoma State, which has not gotten a lot of production from its running backs -- quarterback J.W. Walsh is the team's leading rusher, although he's caught some (perhaps undue) flack from the fan base.
Rankings and records: Oklahoma State is 4-1 (1-1), ranked No. 21 in the AP Poll and No. 17 in the Coaches' Poll. Unranked TCU comes in at 3-3 (1-2). The Cowboys are 12-9-2 against the Horned Frogs all-time.
Vegas: Oklahoma State is a 7.5-point favorite.
Weather: The high in Stillwater is expected to hit 69. There is no rain in the forecast.
Three names to know
J.W. Walsh -- Walsh is having a steady season for the most part, though his numbers don't jump off the page. The Cowboys' signal caller is completing 60.9 percent of his passes, and he has thrown only three interceptions in 169 attempts.
Trevone Boykin -- How Boykin goes might determine how TCU fares in this one. His three lowest passer ratings this season coincide with TCU's three losses (though he played only part-time in one of them), and he did not throw a touchdown pass in any of those games, either.
Josh Stewart -- Stewart had 1,210 receiving yards last season and averaged about eight grabs per game, but he has just 332 yards on 21 receptions through five games in 2013. His production may be down, but as last year's numbers suggest, he can be a major impact player.
Two things at stake
A win for Oklahoma State means the Cowboys need only one more in order to become bowl-eligible, and it also helps keep them in the Big 12 race. There are three unbeaten teams in league play at the moment, and the Cowboys have yet to have their shot at any of them. They can overcome their September loss to West Virginia, but there's just less margin for error.
TCU still needs three wins to reach bowl eligibility, and while the Horned Frogs could realistically get them without beating Oklahoma State, beating the Cowboys would be a nice bonus. TCU has alternated wins and losses all season, so a win in Stillwater would give the team its first winning streak of the year.
How to witness
TV: Fox, Noon ET (Gus Johnson, Charles Davis, Kristina Pink)