Connect with us

Football

The Other OSU

Published

on

Jim Tressel “resigned” this morning. But unless you’ve been living in Bin Laden’s Pakistani compound you probably already know that. And even then, you could probably find it out. So there’s going to be quite the shakeup in the Big 10 over the next few years and we’re going to hear the words “Urban” and “Meyer” ad nauseum on SportsCenter for the next 365 days, but what does all of this mean for Oklahoma State?

I’m glad you asked, because I have a few thoughts.

Mike Gundy has now been at his position for a longer period of time than 93 other Division 1 college football coaches have been at theirs (out of 120). That’s pretty crazy, right? What’s crazier is that only 15 BCS coaches have longer tenure than Gundy does. Fifteen!!

This speaks not to the genius of Gundy but to the tenuousness of college football coaching jobs in general. As Oklahoma State fans we’re in the middle of Gundy’s golden age. Contrary to how we feel right now, Mike Gundy will not be the head coach in Stillwater for 30+ years.

In fact, I see three ways this dream ends.

  1. Expectations will become such that Gundy cannot possibly live up to them year after year (see Richt, Mark and his 96-34 career record).
  2. Gundy will encounter a stretch of bad luck and out-of-his-hands circumstances that will end in a string of losing (or at least average) seasons and his firing.
  3. Gundy will get Pearl-d, Tressel-d, or Carroll-d by a future recruiting class.

#1 is a little far-fetched as long as OU and Texas are around and I’m not sure he’s high-profile enough for #3 although Dez Bryant and his posse might contend that. #2 though, is a definite possibility.

When you becoming a nationally-recognized program that’s succesful year after year (which OSU is or is close to anyway) your main goal in recruiting and coaching is to eliminate risk. That is, don’t heap your title hopes on the health of that one 5-star 320 lb. DT with a history of injury problems. Instead, snag four or five four-stars and eliminate the risk. Don’t give the car keys to that juco QB who can’t stay out of jail, instead get a lesser-renowned high school QB who will manage your offense.

You get the point. The reason OU is great every year is because they’ve eliminated nearly every risk associated with playing high level college football. They’re deep, balanced, don’t play dumb road games, and so on.

OSU isn’t there yet and I would say Gundy has hit the jackpot on more than a few gambles. To prove my point, what was OSU’s backup plan if Blackmon didn’t break out in 2010? Slants to Josh Cooper all year? Don’t get me wrong, I think Gundy and his staff have done a terrific job of beginning to eliminate the risks (their current depth is unbelievable from where it once was), but they’ve gotten lucky too. And you have to be lucky to be staring a decade of tenure at a BCS school right in the face.

So I implore Cowboy fans, enjoy this ride, because as the other OSU can attest to – it doesn’t last forever.

Most Read