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Reader Thoughts: Is Mike Gundy Playing Candyland?

Week 1 impressions, questions for the defense and Gundy’s master plan.



This week’s reader thoughts were culled from DMs and the comments section. Two are simply thought-provoking, and I don’t know if I have anything to add to them. The other is a great question. Hope you guys enjoy.

Three things I saw that are of great concern …

1. The middle of our defense is non-existent. I wondered about this with the 4-2-5. I know it gives you options for safeties and corners to cover the territories traditionally covered by LB’s, but when you’re blitzing them or they have you in spread formation, that middle is exposed.

Believe me, Patterson, Snyder, Holgorsen and Riley are looking at this defense and licking their chops. They will run delayed draws and slant passes for 80 yards at a pop on us. I love the aggressiveness and it’s a relief to not sit back and play “death by a thousand paper cuts” defense like we’ve been doing for 100 years, but we are going to get eaten alive by anyone who has D1 athletes.

2. Offensive line. This was the biggest letdown for me. Are they better than last year? Maybe. Are they the elite squad we’ve been told they are all preseason? I don’t think so. Does an elite squad of D1 O-lineman have trouble lining up and punching it in from 3 yards out with a stable of Heisman quality backs against a terrible (3-8 record last year) FCS squad? Do they need trick plays and gimmicks to get them to pay dirt in the red zone? Are elite squads gassed halfway through the first quarter?

I look at these articles and they’re gettin’ praised. That must be stat-related. This group looked below average at best on run blocking within the red zone. We should’ve been able to do whatever we wanted with Missouri State’s D-line. And remember this, last year, we could pass to loosen up the defense and get the run going. I’m not sure we have that option anymore. Which brings me to the third issue.

3. Corndog. I don’t care about the stats. I don’t care about the story. I don’t care if he’s been here a hundred years. I don’t care about how well he plays in practice.

If we find out that Gundy is sitting on another Weeden-type QB but won’t play him out of loyalty to a guy who “has been here a long time and does everything right” I’m gonna be sick. This is not flag football. We are supposed to be competing for championships. If Cornelius is the best we have, then we will have to rally the talent around him and make due – I’m all for that.

But I’m finding it really hard to believe that what I saw last night was the best we have to offer – and not because of nerves or rust or first game jitters or anything like that. The truth is, and anyone who watched the game knows this, Cornelius just doesn’t pass the “two eye” test. -BA

Lot going on here. I appreciate seeing opinions both counter to what I think and what other folks in the media believe. That’s a good thing. Gets the juices flowing. Also “I don’t care if he’s been here a hundred years” got me rolling. More comments like this one plz.

How would you compare Gundy’s impact on OSU football to Eddie’s impact on OSU basketball? -SM

They’ve been … kind of parallels, haven’t they? Both took over average to good programs and made them great. Both oversaw loads of building renovations. Both had a rival they struggled to beat. Both (to this point) have one conference championship. Both have succeeded where others didn’t know if they could at their alma maters.

I do hope that OSU’s succession plan in the post-Gundy era is better than it was after Sutton. I don’t know that I need Gavin Gundy as a coach in waiting anytime soon. The model for that is obviously OU, which has somehow seemingly improved after losing one of the great college football coaches of the last few decades.

In terms of impact at OSU, I often go back to the Mt. Rushmore question. Would Eddie be on it? Would Gundy? Both have stans who would go down in flames defending one or the other, but I think you could both talk me into and out of Gundy and Sutton being on an OSU Mt. Rushmore (for now).

Love the blog man. I’ve been a loyal follower since the Uni reveal of 2011 and I’m so impressed with how far you’ve come.

I went to the first game and the one thing that I just can’t get over is why Gundy went with Wudtee in the 4th quarter. I was just shocked by it. Driving home, I came up with some theories. I think they could be a fun roundtable or at least a topic on the pod.

This is super long, and it’s kinda dumb, so by all means stop now if you wish. You have more important things to do, but as you probably know, when you have thoughts, sometimes you just want to write them down and get them out there.

Theory No. 1. Keeping our powder dry — This theory comes from the fact that the Baron is really “The Guy” or at least Gundy really wants Baron to be “The Guy,” But if Baron is clearly the best guy for the year then why not at least get Brown or Sanders some run against a bad team? You don’t want to just throw them out cold against Texas if Baron goes down right?

Two thoughts on this.

1. Long View — and probably the correct answer. Gundy really wants both Brown and Sanders to redshirt so we are holding them back, only breaking glass in case of emergency. Baron is the best guy, or at least good enough that he wants to keep those redshirts available.

2. Loyalty — Gundy really wants Baron to be “The Guy” because he’s been in the program, done the right things, loves his parents, etc … So even if Brown might be a little better, Gundy is rolling with him until proven otherwise. But why not at least get Brown a look?

My theory. Baron didn’t seem super confident last night, and didn’t exactly light it up. What would have happened if Brown comes in and looks like 90 percent of Baker? Now, everyone is calling for Brown to start. Baron reads the headlines. Confidence drops. Play declines. Brown has to try to save the day after two first half picks against Boise. 2-1 and Brown’s redshirt is gone. Not ideal.

Theory No. 2 Gundy’s Master Plan — This theory comes from the idea that Gundy is thinking on a different plane than everyone else. That he is playing chess, while we are all playing Candyland. This theory comes from the idea that Dru Brown is really “The Guy.” That, in fact, Mike and Mike have known he would probably be the guy since they watched his film last spring, and all of Gundy’s hyping of Baron have been a long con to unleash Baker-lite on Boise in week 3.

Let me explain.

Mike and Mike knew that Brown would have a hard time getting to Stillwater early. If he made it at all it would be right before camp. So he was unlikely to be fully ready to roll by game one.

So, Gundy hypes Baron and lets him try to earn the spot, getting everyone bought in that Baron is “The Guy.” But, after a week or so of practice it’s clear Brown is a stud. So instead of letting him show out in the 4th quarter of game 1, Gundy holds his trump card until the 3rd series of Boise, unleashes Baker-lite once he fully grasps the offense and takes down Boise on our way to the Big 12 Title!!

Gundy, quirky mullet man with too much loyalty, or strategic genius? If you made it this far, thanks for indulging me. Good luck with the blog! -CO

What an email! The last theory is so insane and improbable and … pretty much exactly why sports blogs were invented to begin with.

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