Connect with us


Whose career would you rather have?

Rickie Fowler or Mike Gundy? Peter Uihlein or Marcus Smart? Brandon Weeden or Le’Bryan Nash?



Photo Attribution: USATSI

Photo Attribution: USATSI

Gosh it’s summer, isn’t it?

I did this as a golf post last week for CBS but I thought it would be kind of fun to think about across industries within OSU athletics (or former athletes).

The game is this — you get to have one person’s career from here on out. It doesn’t matter what they’ve done up to this point[1. So if you’re picking Mike Gundy it doesn’t matter that he’s won a Big 12 title and Fiesta Bowl.], only what they do from this day on.

It makes for some fun discussion — pitting older, more talented athletes against younger, less skilled ones. Coaches against players, golfers against football players.

The parameters for picking a winner are really whatever you want them to be — salary, potential for success, titles, longevity, whatever. For the sake of argument I’m going to just go with who was more successful as defined by titles or title-like markers in different sports.

So for golfers that would be winning majors but for Big 12 QBs that would probably be winning Big 12 regular season titles. For basketball players, the Final Four, etc.

Let’s just get to it.

Rickie Fowler (24) or Mike Gundy (45) — We might need to bring in a stylist to referee this one. Gundy has, what, 12-15 years left if we can believe what he says about not wanting to work forever[1. I have no idea what we can believe about Gundy anymore.]. Fowler probably has about the same what with his injury history and the simple fact that golfers just aren’t that great past 40.

I think the equivalent of one major for Fowler is two Big 12 titles/BCS bowl wins for Gundy (a national title would be too rigid here since Fowler gets four chances a year to win majors). If that’s the case,[1. And of course it is, I made it up and I’m making up the rules as I go!] I’ll take Fowler. Gundy’s not winning two more BCS bowls over the course of his career.

Gundy fans: “HOW DARE YOU!”

Me: This

Verdict: Fowler

Joe Randle (21) or Travis Ford (43) — Average career for a running back in the NFL is 2.5 years. Average career for potentially incompetent coach who just bungled one of the 15 most talented teams in the country in the first round of the NCAA tournament is…well, if he doesn’t screw up this year it might be a long time.

All Ford has to do this year is catch a break or two in March and all of a sudden we’re looking at a Final Four squad and probably a 47-year extension for Ford. Randle plays seven years in the NFL, tops. Ford’s ceiling is a lot higher than that at OSU.

Verdict: Ford

Le’Bryan Nash (21) or Brandon Weeden (29) — First things first…Le’Bryan Nash and Joe Randle ARE THE SAME AGE?! How is that possible? Maybe I’m just thrown off by the fact that Nash gives interviews the same way I receive compliments — in the most awkward, incomprehensible way possible — like a 5-year-old.

This one basically revolves around whether or not you think Nash will play pro basketball on some level and whether or not you are enamored with Spain or Russia or Serbia or some far off place like that where he will likely play pro basketball.

I’m not totally sure what Weeden’s ceiling is but no matter how high his highs go, I’d be surprised if he was still playing in the NFL when he’s 35. I would also be surprised if the Browns won an AFC Championship or Super Bowl in that span.

I would not, however, be surprised if the Spurs signed Nash as their 27th guy in camp in two years and Pop somehow made him into a homeless man’s Paul George and we all sent hate mail to Travis Ford and Nash eventually won a ring. I would also not be surprised if he and Byron Eaton were playing for the Sri Lanka Seagulls, making $18,000 a year in the year 2023.

Plus, don’t forget Nash gets to own (or co-own, I guess) Stillwater this year. Weeden gets to have his skull cracked by LaMarr Woodley et al.

Verdict: Nash (just because he gets this one special year in Stillwater)

Peter Uihlein (23) or Marcus Smart (19) — Ahh, this one’s tough. Uihlein’s ceiling (absolute ceiling) is, what, three majors and a 10-win career on the PGA Tour…something like that. Smart’s is being the PG (and second or third best player) on a multiple-time NBA champion, probably.

Uihlein’s is decidedly higher. I don’t think Smart will ever be one of the 20-25 best players in the NBA. I absolutely think Uihlein can be one of the 20-25 best golfers in the world.

Their floors are different too though. Uihlein’s floor is no PGA Tour wins and no top 10s in majors — that’s totally conceivable for where he is in his career. Not likely, but conceivable. Smart’s floor is being the backup PG, and an elite defender, on a top 10 team in the NBA. I really believe that.

Smart’s dirty little secret is that he’s not that great at any one thing on offense. He doesn’t do anything that makes me say “whoa, dudes in the Big 12 cannot do that.” His assets on offense are that he’s tougher and stronger than everybody else in college — that doesn’t translate to the NBA. Everybody is tough and strong. But because of the way he plays defense, I think he has at minimum an 8-year career.

Verdict: I’ll go Smart here even though Uihlein’s ceiling is higher

Justin Blackmon (23) or Stevie Clark (18) — At first glance this seems easy[1. Can you imagine me asking you this question three years ago?] but it’s a little more complicated.

Stevie Clark has a chance to make Keiton Page an upper-middle class man’s Stevie Clark. He probably won’t play in the league but in four years he will most likely be finishing out a good to great career at OSU.

Where will Justin Blackmon be in four years?

He might be running routes and catching balls for Tim Tebow in Jacksonville or he might be back in Ardmore wondering how to spend all the money he made and thinking about all the money he gave up.

I’ll go Blackmon, but with no confidence.

Verdict: 81

Most Read

Copyright © 2011- 2023 White Maple Media