While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. The 2017 Oklahoma State football schedule has been released. The Cowboys should be one of the favorites to win the Big 12 when August rolls around next year, but did they get a favorable slate for running the league table?These things are difficult to tell so far out — who knew getting Baylor early in the season in 2016 would be the worst thing that could happen to a Big 12 team? — but as everything stands right now, here are five thoughts on OSU’s 12 games.1. Why South Alabama?Are we not better than having to go to South Alabama? I get that it was a two-for-one and that OSU did the same thing against Central Michigan. I am fine with that. It’s one thing to do it against a MAC team. It is a completely other thing to do it against a team that played Presbyterian (!) and Nicholls (!) this year.I’m not saying you shouldn’t play the South Alabamas of the world — I’m fine with it. I’m just not trying to go on the road to do it. That is not a big-time program thing to do. Also, South Alabama beat Mississippi State this year in Starkville. Yikes. Maybe I’m not trying to play the South Alabamas of the world.2. Home Schedule Short but GoodBecause of two road non-conference games Oklahoma State only gets six home games in 2017. They’re all pretty good, though. Tulsa is the non-conference one. Then you get Baylor, TCU, the Kansas schools and OU. Kansas in cold conditions on Thanksgiving weekend is an abomination that a lot of people will not show up for (unless the Big 12 title is on the line), but everything else is solid.3. The Texas-WVU-OU StretchOSU’s season will be made or lost in the three weeks from October 21 – November 4. You go to Texas. You go to West Virginia. Then you get Bedlam at home. Gundy is going to be on blood thinners by the time Bedlam is over with. Maybe this is better, though. Maybe it’s good to go like this. Gundy doesn’t have time to draw up ways OSU can lose on his Big Chief pad in his living room, and the rest of the program doesn’t have two weeks to worry about what ways Gundy is going to draw up for them to lose.4. Pitt game is greatI love the home-and-home with Pittsburgh. That game is at Heinz Field, and beating Pitt anywhere is a great win (maybe not to you, CFB Playoff committee!) but especially so in PA. I want more home-and-home games like that one. Heck, up the ante. Do it with Miami or Notre Dame or Virginia Tech. OSU has to go 13-0 no matter what happens to get into the Playoff so you might as well have some fun doing it even if the committee has created a disincentive for non-premiere programs like OSU to play big-time non-con games.5. “Easy” FinishBedlam was moved to the beginning of November because the Big 12 didn’t want to embarrass itself by having two straight Bedlams to end the season now that the Big 12 title game will inexplicably be a rematch between two teams that have already played. So what did it do? It took the third-place team (WVU) and put it against the team that won the conference this season (OU) in the last week in 2017. That should work out great!Anyway, the unintended benefit here is that OSU gets the most breathing room of the contenders at the end of the year. Let’s say the Cowboys somehow get through the first nine games unscathed. Then you go to Iowa State (WHAT COULD GO WRONG) and come home for KSU and Kansas. I know Bedlam has been moved and that has had a lot to do with OSU’s November/December struggles, but I like my chances at home against the state of Kansas with the conference on the line. And remember, all you have to do is finish in the top two to get to the Big 12 title game, which OSU has done each of the last two years.