It’s being reported that Mike Gundy is talking with Tennessee. Does he fit? What’s the problem?
This is going several different ways.
We’re all in the investigation and rumor phase with this, but it’s being reported that Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy is at least talking to Tennessee about the open gig.
But is he the right fit? Taking the Penn State side of the equation out of this, is he really that much more of an upgrade of a candidate over Greg Schiano?
Here’s the problem.
Gundy has put together some amazing offenses, and he’s proven he can crank out ten wins a year on a regular basis. If Oklahoma State wins a bowl game this season, it’ll be three straight 10-win seasons, four in the last five, and seven in the last nine.
And Oklahoma is probably going to win the Big 12 Championship again.
Gundy has won one conference championship in 13 years – that 2011 OSU team deserved to play LSU for the BCS Championship. But that’s been about it.
However, that was the first year after the Big 12 Championship game stopped. Had Oklahoma State got to a conference title game and beaten Kansas State, at 12-1, it would’ve almost certainly ended up getting the No. 2 BCS slot over Alabama on the way to play for a national title.
Oklahoma State tied for one other Big 12 South Division title, and there isn’t much else on the resume other than making Oklahoma State very, very good. And he’s doing it in a much easier conference in the SEC.
The 2011 team is the only Gundy team to finish in the top five, and the 2010 team that went 11-2 is the only other one to get top ten recognition in either major poll.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma State has remained firmly entrenched as the second banana while Oklahoma wins year after year after year.
Of course, being consistently very good is terrific, and there’s a chance that Gundy goes from being fantastic to national championship-great – like Les Miles did going from OSU to LSU and Jimmy Johnson going from OSU to Miami – with the bigger overall gig.
And it is time.
Gundy might be Oklahoma State football through and through, but he’s been there 13 years, has hit a wee bit of a ceiling on what he can do with the program, and now that he’s a man, he’s 50, he’s right in the range of taking on that Next Phase job.
Tennessee fans might be excited about getting a brand name guy, but Georgia is establishing itself as the powerhouse of the East, Florida will be better under Dan Mullen, and there’s that annual game against Alabama that won’t be getting any worse.
If Gundy couldn’t get to the conference mountain top more than once at Oklahoma State, why is he suddenly going to be able to do more in the far, far tougher SEC?
Even so, he’s a chance worth taking on both sides – if he really does want to leave Stillwater.