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How OSU Football Has Performed With Every Different Mike Gundy Hairstyle

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Mike Gundy’s had a lot of different hairstyles over the years.

He’s also had a lot of different teams since he took over Oklahoma State’s program in 2005.

So I decided to investigate and see if there was any correlation, positive or negative, to a particular way Gundy groomed his upper half, inspired by a recent video OSU published highlighting every hairdo he’s had since 2005.

Does OSU suck when he goes full porcupine? Is OSU better when the Arkansas waterfall is fully flowing? Does hair gel consistency and uniformity play a factor in team success?

Below are the results. (I’ve named each style myself, but I welcome feedback on other recommendations.)

2005: The Every Man
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This is the I just posed for a local ad at Super Cuts look. I respect it. It’s not flashy, minimal gel usage, sub new-era Gundy swagger. This is the look of a man who took over a so-so team and went three games below .500 in his first season.

Look: No gel, no spike, clean cut

Result: 4-7

2006: Clean and strong

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If I had to guess, that’s actually half cement and half gel. Even in Oklahoma winds that hairdo wasn’t moving. Nonetheless, it’s a strong look when you couple it with those old thin shades. If it was second-year respect he was looking for, he got it.

Look: Hard gel, spike

Result: 7-6

2007: Porcu-visor

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Through the years, the visor — and the tucked sweatshirt — has been a mainstay of the Gundy look. This look in particular was memorable because it looks as if he’s got a porcupine stashed away playing hide and seek behind the hat. (But mostly seek.)

Look: Thin spike, largely behind visor

Result: 7-6

2008: Relaxed look

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If it’s true that Gundy has a special swagger when his teams are good, then that explains this look: a relaxed do behind the visor. I pretty vividly remember the gel being a mainstay this year but this screenshot mostly shows a relaxed, minimal gel, let-it-go-just-a-bit approach. Translated, this was the GIVE KENDALL HUNTER ANOTHER CARRY UP THE MIDDLE look.

Look: Minimal gel

Result: 9-4

2009: Long-porcu-visor

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This was a slightly more advanced look from the 2007 groom, but strong shades of the porcu-visor remain. The gel game looks to have advanced to a new stage by this point in his career. In my experience, this is either classic Crew or the Wal-Mart brand you get that sticks to your hands all day. I can empathize.

Look: Standing straight, advanced gel

Result: 9-4

2010: Groomed and short

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Very much like this look. Cleanly tucked behind the visor, not standing at attention, not gobbed up with gel. It’s very solid. A man who busted down the door of a 10-win season by winning 11. The breakout year before the breakout year.

Look: Clean

Result: 11-2

2011: Teach me to Gundy

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You may remember this look differently, but oh, I remember this look only one way: from the dance. This is the teach me how to Gundy look and it shall forever be remembered only in that light.

Look: Short and clean

Result: 12-1

2012: The business man

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The cut of a man coming off his first Big 12 championship, or one looking to secure a personal meeting with you to discuss your life insurance policy options? You be the judge. Either way it’s a good look and I lowkey miss it.

Look: Business up front, and in the back

Result: 8-5

2013: All business

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I remember the OSU defense being elite. Elite. But from this year, I also remember freezing my tush off while OU came to BPS and stunned OSU in Stillwater. So maybe I don’t remember this look as fondly as I should. One of the better OSU teams under Gundy to not come away with a conference crown.

Look: Minimalist

Result: 10-3

2014 and 2015: Consistent

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These are two screengrabs from entirely different years but almost entirely identical looks, down to the graying sideburns. I think the 2014 season is solely responsible for the gray.

Look: Splash of old with a twist of classic

Results: 7-6, 10-3

2016: The rise of the mullet

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The summer of 2016 was the year it happened. The mullet made its first appearance in the national spotlight. And it stayed all because his son didn’t quite earn the grade he’d hoped for. Never forget.

Look: Business up front, some shindig — not a full party, but some shindig — in the back

Result: 10-3

2017: Arkansas waterfall

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By this point in time, the mullet was rocking. Like, really rocking. Touching the neck and all.

Look: Business up front, full-fledged rager in the back

Result: 10-3

2018: Controlled mullet

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If there’s such a thing as a controlled mullet, this was the look. It definitely was still a mullet, unmistakably, but it wasn’t, like, Joe Dirt wild. (We’ll get to that.)

Look: Mullet and biz

Result: 7-6

2019: Joe Dirt

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This was the point in time when things went wild. He may as well have been carrying around a mop and rocking L-shaped sideburns.

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Look: Outta control

Result: 8-5

2020: On the loose

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We’ve yet to see what it’ll look like by the fall, but if spring is any indication … we could be looking at an unprecedented ungroomed look combining a mullet and a beard.

Look: TBD

Result: TBD


(First, a caveat: these screengrabs provided by OSU do not apply to every game. In some instances, Mike Gundy may have switched up his look on a game-to-game basis, therefore, screengrabs provided above may not entirely encapsulate a look for an entire season but are still applied to the full season’s results.)

The strong-hold gel look — primarily clean, and primarily tucked behind the visor — has thus far netted OSU’s best winning under Mike Gundy. The Cowboys have played 193 games since 2005 under his watch, and have the best winning percentage — 68.3% — when he’s got strong hold and short hair, our investigation concluded.

OSU’s second-most successful stint under Gundy has been with the mullet, with 35 wins and 17 losses to net a 67.3 winning percentage. Wearing a no-gel relaxed look, OSU has a 62.2 winning percentage.

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