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The Top 5 Quotes from Mike Gundy’s Thursday Media Session

Gundy touched on the transfer portal, how they’re preparing for a Texas A&M team in-flux and the future of college football.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — It’s that time of year where college football is all over the national headlines despite no games being played.

It’s bowl transfer portal season. Mike Gundy met with reporters after the Cowboys’ Thursday practice as they prepare for a Texas Bowl matchup with Texas A&M. Here are five quotes that stood out. Gundy’s full news conference is below.

‘Religion, Politics, the Portal and Roster’

The Cowboys seem to be doing alright in the portal (especially compared to this time last year), but Gundy didn’t want to get too deep into discussions about it Thursday.

When asked about the portal generally, Gunnar Gundy entering the portal, players playing in the bowl game despite being in the portal and Alan Bowman’s future, Gundy gave some version of the same quote.

“It’s religion, politics, the portal and roster,” Gundy said. “That’s kind of the way it is. Just take it day by day. Never know what to expect the next day.”

Gundy gave a little more when asked about Bowman’s future. Bowman said he is in the process of applying for a seventh year of eligibility. He’d need a waiver to do that, but that could take some time.

“At some point we’re supposed to get a timely answer,” Gundy said. “Timely answers haven’t been common with the NCAA. The new guy in charge [Charlie Baker], maybe it will happen different and quicker. You can have a number of players that are applying for a waiver and we don’t know if they get the waiver or not. So, do you hold a spot for them? Or do you go find somebody else to replace them? That’s what we’re dealing with.”

‘We Have No Idea What They’re Gonna Do’

Texas A&M is a team in transition right now.

The Aggies fired Jimbo Fisher in November. They hired Mike Elko from Duke. But since November, 16 Aggies have entered the portal, according to 247Sports.

So with new coaches and different players, how are the Cowboys preparing for A&M?

“We have no idea what they’re gonna do,” Gundy said. “We don’t have any idea what they’re gonna do. They play three down, they play four down. They play man, they play zone. The coordinator’s not there on either side of the ball. They were different at the end when Jimbo wasn’t there, when (Bobby) Petrino was, then when Petrino wasn’t there.

“So, we don’t have any idea what they’re doing. We’re practicing for spring ball and putting a little gameplan together and gonna go down and play.”

Elijah Collins Back to Practice, De’Zhaun Stribling ‘Practicing Some’

Gundy said the Cowboys will be without left guard Jason Brooks Jr. and wide receiver Talyn Shettron for the Texas Bowl, but things sound a bit better for two other playmakers.

Running back Elijah Collins is back to practicing. He hasn’t played in OSU’s past four games. A transfer from Michigan State, Collins has carried 30 times for 146 yards and four touchdowns this season. He went through warmups in Arlington for the Big 12 title game but seemed to be an in-case-of-emergency option.

Gundy said wide receiver De’Zhaun Stribling is “practicing some, but he’s not released.” Stribling hasn’t played since the Iowa State game on Sept. 23. A transfer from Washington State, Stribling was one of the Cowboys’ top receiving threats in the early part of the year, catching 14 passes for 198 yards and a touchdown in four games.

All Things Ollie

Gundy has coached three Biletnikoff winners (Justin Blackmon twice and James Washington once), but Ollie Gordon became OSU’s first Doak Walker winner this season.

Gordon is the nation’s leading rusher with 1,614 yards and he ranks second in rushing touchdowns with 20. He is the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and a unanimous All-American. Not bad for a true sophomore season.

“He’s very deserving,” Gundy said. “Proud for our organization and Ollie and obviously the offense and the guys that helped him get to that point. Not many guys Doak Walker winners — one a year. Pretty cool deal.”

Through Gordon’s ascension this season, Gundy has said his tailback needs to stay humble and keep working. As the Cowboys prep for A&M, it doesn’t sound like the attention is going to Gordon’s head.

“Ollie is Ollie,” Gundy said. “Ollie is the same as he always is. Ollie’s challenge will be to stay humble and practice hard and all the things that’s difficult to do when you’re his age and getting all the notoriety that he is. But he’s done well. One thing Ollie has done is competed in games. He’s played hard, competes, so as long as he’ll do that, he’ll be fine.”

The Future of College Football

Gundy has often been a fortuneteller when it comes to the direction college football is headed, and for a while now he has said the sport is heading toward an NFL model.

With NIL and the transfer portal running rampant, Gundy reiterated that point Thursday. A recent ruling made it to where players can transfer as many times as they please without having to sit out. Gundy compared it to the NFL without contracts, which is true. It’s like if Patrick Mahomes just decided to leave Kansas City and go play for the 49ers next year with no strings attached.

“We’re gonna go to a subdivision,” Gundy said. “We’re gonna go to 30 teams or 40 teams that are controlling the market and television money, and those schools will be the ones that run college athletics based on football. And then there will be another group that plays. That’s what’s gonna happen. It’s just a matter of time now because I don’t think it’s within reach and will be stable financially for schools to maintain the level of the direction we’re going right now.”

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