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The Top 5 Quotes from Mike Gundy’s First Media Luncheon of 2023

On roster management, a super league and a goofball.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — Mike Gundy has met with the media for the last time ahead of the Cowboys’ season opener — all that’s left is to kick the season off.

Gundy held his first media luncheon of the year Thursday in Boone Pickens Stadium. Quarterbacks were discussed (which you can read about here), but here are five other quotes that stood out with a link to his entire news conference below.

1. Get Your Rosters Ready

Multiple quarterbacks is a two-word phrase that will attract a lot of headlines when any football coach talks, but it sounds like OSU is going to play multiples at a lot of positions on Sept. 2 against Central Arkansas.

So come to the season opener with your roster ready because it sounds like there are going to be a ton of Pokes on the field.

“Today I went in and looked at the roster and kind of where we’re at, and we will have more players competing on gameday for multiple games than ever before,” Gundy said. “The reasons why, as I said earlier, is we have so many new players we don’t know a lot about them. We watch them in practice, but some guys play different in games than they do in practice. I think the fair thing is to let them play, put guys in games, see what they do.”

That leads us swimmingly into quote No. 2.

2. Roster Management in the Portal Era

Oklahoma State wasn’t the only school to lose a lot of players to the transfer portal this past offseason, but the portal certainly did ambush the Pokes.

The Cowboys lost their starting quarterback, a starting linebacker, a handful of wide receivers and more to the portal.

The fix to losing players to the portal is still being studied, but Gundy’s answer for now is to give players a chance to play.

“This is the one area that I said multiple times — I don’t mind saying it — I don’t know what the answer is with all this going on right now,” Gundy said. “We only try to come up with a plan we think is best. What I share with our coaches is we want to treat our guys the way they need to be treated. We still want to have our culture that has a lot of structure and accountability. And if in that culture, a player chooses to leave because it’s something they don’t want to do, then I’m OK with that because they should leave because we need guys that are going to function in our culture. Right or wrong, that’s just the culture.

“I don’t want to rerecruit our players. I think you rerecruit them by the way you handle them. As I said at the start of August, and I said again today — there’s guys that have practiced well enough that need to play in the games. The portal has opened my eyes a little bit to, if a young man comes in and says, ‘I never had a chance,’ and if he never really had a chance, I don’t have anything to say to him other than, ‘Yeah, you’re right. You probably never got a chance. I understand.’ So we’re giving players a chance to play and go out and compete so we find out more about them, and they find out more about us.”

3. OSU Would be “In” a Super League

At OSU’s media day earlier in the month, Gundy said college football is heading toward a super league model of sorts, where 30, 40 teams inhabit a league and geography starts to mean something again.

That could be a scary thought for some schools, hoping to have a chair when the music stops, but Gundy spoke confidently Thursday that should a super league come, the Cowboys would be in.

“We’re in — OSU is in,” Gundy said. “OSU’s viewership, our history of winning over the last 18 years, we sell out, I would be shocked if it happened in three years if we’re not in.”

4. The O-Line is Healthy (Knock on Wood)

Of the 11 offensive linemen on Oklahoma State’s depth chart that released Thursday, nine were at OSU last season. So how will this offensive line be better than the line that helped OSU to just 126 rushing yards a game last season? Well, part of the answer is pretty simple: health.

The projected starters of the group are Cole Birmingham (LT), Jason Brooks Jr. (LG), Joe Michalski (C), Preston Wilson (RG) and Jake Springfield (RT). Of that group, Birmingham missed the entire season with injury, Brooks missed two games, Michalski missed a game and Wilson missed three games.

Injuries are bound to strike at some point in the season, but the group appears off to a good start in 2023.

“We’re better now than when we were when we ended [last season],” Gundy said. “Which, I said that the other day and somebody said, ‘That’s not saying a lot.’ I’m not gonna disagree with that, but we’re better now because we’re healthy. Up to this point, we’ve stayed healthy at the offensive line for 15 practices in the spring and then however many practices we’ve had now — 18 or 19, whatever it’s been. That plays a big role in it. We’ll be a better run-blocking team, and we’ll be better overall on the offensive line when we play next week.”

5. Ollie the Goofball

OK, we’ve had some long quotes about heavy topics like the portal, the future of the sport and even health, so let’s finish with a little fun.

This bit of fun narrowly beat out Gundy calling TikTok Tic Tac, but when asked who some of the goofballs on the team were, one man apparently stood out among the rest — Ollie Gordon.

“Ollie Gordon is a good candidate for that,” Gundy said. “… The one guy that I see that does a good job of that is Ollie, but I haven’t really noticed anybody else that falls into his category.”

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