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Mailbag: OSU’s Mt. Rushmore, Smart in ’04, Sochi water

Who’s in my OSU charity foursome, who will be third-string QB, which schools would trade coaches with us?



Does Smart start on the 2004 Final Four team? -Harry Sneed

He has to, right? John Lucas was great but Smart, with some direction, is an all-timer. I don’t want the last few weeks to take away from how good of a college basketball player he actually is.

I guess you could theoretically move Smart to the two (though he wouldn’t be as good there) and bench Bobik so your starting lineup would be Lucas, Smart, Tony Allen, Joey, and I-Mac. Four NBA players and one of the best rebounders in school history. With Bobik, Spoon, Stevie, TC, and Jason Miller coming off the bench.

That’s what I’d do, probably. You could let Smart guard the better of the two guards your opponent was rolling out and let Lucas run the show with Smart playing a hybrid-y LeBron-like two on offense. I’m giddy thinking about this.

Chances that Jacksonville ditches their golden boy Gabbert and gets the Weeden2Blackmon connection up and running again? -Jamie Wilder

Maybe that would be best for both of them. All of them, everyone, Gabbert included. By the way, remember that time I labeled myself a Browns fan because Weeden went there and Josh Cooper signed and I threatened to buy a t-shirt and everything? Yeah, that was a mistake.

The Browns organization is like if you took the Spurs, Thunder, Cardinals, and Patriots and said “now let’s do the exact opposite thing of every single thing this uber-organization would do.” This is what you get for letting the Flying J owner run your team, turn it over to the QuikTrip owner and a lot of your problems would go away.

Obviously the main race for QB1 is between Daxx, JW, and Mason. What are your opinions about Daxx, Jake Hubenak and Richard Lagow? What, in your opinion, are the possible options for all five guys or possibilities of QBs 1-5? -Brenna Hensley

Don’t forget about Tyler Holcomb! I have seen Hubenak and Lagow throw as much as you have and I’ve seen Daxx throw once (though it was beautiful). So I basically know nothing.

That being said, if you’re one of those four guys, don’t you compete for the No. 3 spot as if it’s the No. 1 spot given that in each of the last five years a QB who at one point in his career was the third-string QB (and three of the five times he was the third-string QB that season) has seen significant playing time.

Gundy’s ability to pick a starting QB is rivaled only by Boone’s ability to pick a wife.

Which Big 12 school trades football and basketball coaches with us straight up? -Pyle Korter

Pyle, you’re back! This is kind of a depressing question, isn’t it? I asked a Mizzou friend if Mizzou would trade football/basketball coaches with OSU straight up. His response: “hell no.” I’m afraid that would be the answer of most Big 12 schools. Let’s go through them…

Kansas — No. And they’d laugh.
Iowa State — Probably not.
Kansas State — You’d have to throw in like 2,000 windbreakers.
West Virginia — This is the only one that I think might do it.
Tech — They basically have a younger Gundy and a better Ford. So…no.
Baylor — They have a rich man’s Ford and someone as good as Gundy. No.
Texas — Doubtful, though strangely they might be intrigued.
TCU — Ford + TCU would be incredible. They would consider it, I think.

So a bunch of “you shut your mouth and hang up that phone” responses and a couple of “maybes.” Yeesh.

Which OSU-related person would you hate to get shoved by the most? -Adam Kemp

I think probably Sam Mayes. I think with most other people I could retaliate in a way that wouldn’t embarrass me and my family but what would I do in retaliation to Mayes? Shove him back? Would I even be conscious after the initial incident? It just seems like there are no wins for me.

In your opinion the best choice for a future coach for OSU men’s basketball and why? -John Culver

Realistically who could you see being the next OSU basketball coach? -Matt McCurdy

What happens first — Bill leaves Kansas, or Gottlieb leaves the desk to coach in Stillwater? -Brett Reavis

I know I keep saying it and it keeps sounding crazy to a lot of people, but I think the next head coach at Oklahoma State will be Doug Gottlieb.

OSU’s problem is two-fold and I think, other than Self, Gottlieb is the only person who solves both problems. Those are as follows: we aren’t winning, we aren’t filling up GIA.

I’ll write about this more later but Holder’s hand is almost forced in the direction of Gottlieb because of everything that’s transpired with Ford. What would the reaction be if we went and hired another middling head coach from a Tier 4-5 program like UMass with zero tournament wins?

Not great, right?

So who are we going to get? Will Coach K leave Durham for Stillwater? Or maybe Boeheim will spurn Cuse for American’s other (brighter) orange. You see the quandary, right?

A lot of people keep saying “well, let’s get the Wichita State guy — they’re going to go undefeated!” Fine, but do you think the guy who would barely even listen to UCLA because he likes his life in Wichita so much¬†would come to OSU? I kind of doubt it.

Read that article, by the way, it will talk you into hiring Gottlieb without you even knowing it. Really good coaches, even at smaller programs, don’t want to leave for bigger places as much as they used to. That’s a new problem for ADs like Holder. So if you’re OSU you have to gamble on a semi-proven coach at a school way beneath you or wait for a unique situation (see: Sutton, Eddie).

Are you rolling the dice with Gottlieb? Sure, a little bit, but you’re rolling the dice with anybody you hire. And you better believe he would relish taking the reigns from a man who drove into the ground a program Gottlieb helped build.

Should you hand him a 10-year contract after he wins one tournament game? No. Will he stay at OSU forever? I don’t know. Would he be better than the head coach at Siena? I don’t know. I don’t even know who the coach at Siena is.

All I know is that Doug Gottlieb knows more about basketball than anyone else I’ve ever seen and he could fill up GIA for the first non-conference game of the season against directional state U and that’s more than you can say for pretty much every other potential coach in the United States.

Outside of major-eligible golf courses, rank your top five that you’ve played or would like to play. -Ryan Duffie

1. Pine Valley — Ranked ahead of Augusta on the GolfDigest top 100 so I’m guessing it’s good..
2. Cypress Point — There are some pretty legendary stories of pros rolling up here and being turned away.
3. Bandon Dunes — My dad is playing it this summer, I’m jealous.
4. Royal County Down — Built by Old Tom Morris in 1889. It looks decent.
5. Tie: Peachtree and Riviera — Peachtree is the middle class man’s Augusta and Riviera is the only place Freddie Couples has to play every year besides the Masters.

Why didn’t Holder bet on Texas as a four-point favorite in Vegas and win enough to buy out Ford’s contract? -Doug Lowry

That’s actually a great question.

Bill Self becomes OSU coach on two conditions: football switches to Adidas and basketball switches to UA. You take it? -Tyler Ames

[closes eyes, orders Tom Brady UnderArmour shoes, remembers that Adidas rules soccer, breathes out] Yes.

Would you rather have Marcus Smart on the football field or Barry Sanders on the basketball court? -Sam Blount

Would you drink a glass of Sochi water if it meant Travis Ford resigned? -Jeff Tyler Quinn

This is where we’re at this season in basketball. This is supposed to be the “are we a two-seed or a three-seed” home stretch and I’m getting questions about Sochi water and Barry Sanders playing basketball.

The answers are Smart in football and yes, up to a gallon of Sochi water. Did you see Barry Sanders dribble in this clip, by the way? My two-year-old dribbles better than that!

What three OSU alumni would you take for your charity golf scramble team? -John Cassidy

I presume you don’t mean former golfers in which case this is pretty easy. Weeden, Zac, and Desmond. I’d just let Zac and Weeden carry us and try to talk to Desmond the entire time.

The best starting five at OSU consisting of only walk on players? -Daniel Dennis

I’ll roll with the Cox brothers, Nick Sidorakis (senior year), Luke Byler, and Jeff Johnson. Not only are we whitewashing but we have the best white dunker in school history (Nolan), a player that got legit minutes in Big 12 play (Sidorakis), and somebody else who might get legit minutes in Big 12 play (Mason). I’ll take that team straight up against any team with more than four words in its name.

What kind of turnout do you expect for ESPN GameDay? What will be the vibe? -Rick Boyd

Do you remember the final scene in Breaking Bad? It will kind of be like that. OSU will play be playing the role of Walter White and Bill Self will be playing the role of Jesse.

Odds Ford called in the threat on campus to try and take the focus off of him? -Drew Mireles

Scared to make a “Marcus Smart flopped” joke.

When Gottlieb takes over who’s on his staff? -JE Cruse

Let’s talk about this.

OKC Dave pointed out to me that it’s not infeasible to think that he could steal Brooks away from UTSA given that Brooks is 113-129 with them. I know he would want his brother to do recruiting. James Dickey also seems like he could fit in given that he’s 59-58 at Houston, though I don’t know about the relationship between him and Doug or, for that matter, him and Holder.


One of the things Doug has always been big on is transfers. I think he would bring somebody in to help out with that market as well as getting more juco guys. This has been a big part of our past that’s been largely ignored by Ford. Look at our 2004 team — Stevie, Joey, Lucas, Tony, Bobik — how many of them started out at OSU? Heck, Doug himself started out in South Bend.

You could bring in Joe and Randy to teach trash talk and let them have shooting contests with Brooks.

The biggest coaching advantage for Dough, though? You know he would have Eddie in his back pocket whenever he needed help.

Name as many college coaches as you can that appear more disliked by their fans than T. Ford (any sport) -Steven Mandeville

I think it’s sort of Derek Dooley-ish in his final days in Knoxville. That was a really good (not great program) and he careened it off a cliff. I’m not saying Ford is as bad of a coach as Dooley, but I think the hatred from each fan base might be similar.

Currently, though? Maybe Muschamp or Pelini in football. The difference there is that Nebraska could have Tom Osborne’s corpse coaching games in 30 years and they’d show up, Florida seems to have turned on the entire program, sort of like OSU is doing.

What’s your best caption for that picture? -Zach Stiefel

Screen shot 2014-02-14 at 10.01.31 AM

“You watched Alex Cate and Brandon Weeden for a year and chose to start Cate?”

Do you think Gundy hurts himself by waiting until after signing day to hire replacements? Seems like most staffs are set by the -Shane Hatfield

Not really. What was the lead time between Wickline leaving and signing day? A month? Less than a month? It seems like you’d want to make sure you had the right guy for the long term rather than rushing somebody in to be sure you kept the two guys who bailed because there wasn’t an offensive line coach.

10 years from now in a “where are they now” piece, where will Mason Cox be? -Blake Zimmerman

If he’s not on his fourth engineering degree and still housing limeys at the Penny while simultaneously prepping for the 2026 World Cup then it’s going to have been a life wasted..

Speaking of Mason, what do you think goes through Holder’s head when he’s sitting in his Karsten mansion on a Tuesday night watching us get housed in Austin and then watching the coach he gave $20 million to say we’re taking a step in the right direction because scholarship players are cheering for walk on guys?

Is it just total self loathing? Like, does he just drink himself silly after experiencing all this? Or does he whip out the burner phone and conference call with Boone and Gundy?

And can you imagine the things he would have done to his golf team if they’d performed like OSU’s basketball team has over the last few weeks?

“Chuck, you got the bags, you guys are walking back to campus from Karsten. First one back gets to eat, nobody else does.”
“Coach, campus is like six miles.”
“Do you want to be great, or not?”

You have been wondering why Brian Williams’ head hasn’t been into the games lately. You think he and Tiffany Bias broke up?! -Matt Truelove

Is it bad that this is actually makes sense?

Who is on your OSU Mount Rushmore? -Patrick Richards


That’s the greatest college football player ever, the greatest college baseball player ever, and two of the greatest college basketball coaches ever. Not a bad Mt. Rushmore. I wonder how our Mt. Rushmore would stack up against other Mt. Rushmores. Who’s on OU’s? Stoops? Switzer? This would be a fun roundtable game at some point.

Thanks again to everyone for the questions. I’ve really enjoyed doing these the last few weeks and you guys have asked great questions.

Until tomorrow (Bedlam)!

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