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Reader Questions: Gary Patterson or Mike Gundy?

A comp you’re not going to enjoy.



It’s time to dip into some reader questions as we hurtle toward the weekend. Got a couple of fascinating ones today. Let’s jump in.

Hope all is well. Who is a better coach over their careers: Mike Gundy or Gary Patterson? Also, who would you rather have right now for the next 5 years?

Personally, I think Gundy but I think they are very similar. Both have been at the same school a long time, they both are really good at managing a program, average recruiters, go 8-4 every year.

Thought it was a fun question! -James E.

This one is spicy. My first-take reaction is that Gundy has been a better coach, but I also think I might just be saying that because he’s (for the most part) been in a tougher conference. Let’s do the numbers real quick.

Winning Percentage

Gundy: 129-64 (67%)
Patterson: 172-70 (71%)

Big 12 Winning Percentage

Gundy: 77-52 (60%)
Patterson: 39-34 (53%)


Gundy: 5-3
Patterson: 3-5

Big 12 Titles

Gundy: 1
Patterson: 1 (sort of) (four in MWC)

As an aside: Gundy would slay in the MWC. Three-stars playing over their heads all over the field. QBs who know what to do. OU a million miles away. He definitely would have won at least four MWC titles.

But really, it’s tough to look at this and not think Gundy. The titles are a wash. You can mostly throw the head-to-head out. The place I go is that over the last eight years — since TCU has been in the Big 12 — they’ve won seven or fewer games five times. The other three years were elite: 11, 11 and 12. It’s a little odd that they haven’t won 8, 9 or 10 since joining the Big 12.

But seven or fewer is not good. OSU has won seven or fewer games just twice since 2008. Both of those seasons were seven-win seasons. Patterson had a four-win, a five-win and a six-win season. TCU has been really good, but OSU has been more consistent — which I think is harder to do. Because the conference crowns aren’t different, I have to give the nod to Gundy.

OSU basketball has a different tradition than OSU football (right?) — GIA is a premier stadium with national titles, multiple legendary coaches who were tops in the sport, (probably) a dozen top-ten finishes.

Here’s my question: what is the corresponding program (concerning program history/prestige) to Cowboy Basketball in college football? Penn State? Wisconsin? The inverse is a little bit difficult – what’s the corresponding college basketball program to Cowboy Football? -Steve L.

Wow. What a question.

Here’s a fun fact about OSU hoops: Since JFK died, they have won three conference championships. They won one in 1965, tied for one in 1991 and then took a great one (along with the conference tournament) in 2004. I know it’s not exclusively about conference crowns, but that’s tough to look at.

So I think historically OSU hoops might be a little bit overrated. At least over the last 50 years. Yes, they’ve been good at times and were contending for league titles and made it to two final fours, but since 1960 they’re 42nd nationally in tournament wins with 24. That’s worse than Temple, Iowa and Kansas State.

Sure, the 40s and 50s matter, too, but the modern era has not been kind to the Pokes.

All that to say, I think the CFB comp here is — are you ready for this — Texas.

It’s Texas!

Elite in the late 1990s and early 2000s with an all-time great coach and haven’t been good — even though they’ve wanted badly to be good — since then. They wandered a lot leading up to Mack Brown, and you have to go back to the 1950s and 60s with Darrel Royal to find a time of sustained success. That’s a mildly different timeline than OSU hoops, but the concept still applies.

The part that doesn’t work is GIA vs. DKR Stadium. DKR is not very good. I’ve been there several times, and it just kind of stinks. GIA does not stink (as we all know). But other than that, I stand by my comp (and hope that it changes in the decade to come).

For OSU … not for Texas

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