Oklahoma State fans deserve better than Mike Gundy’s offseason charades
Here we were, once again. Another offseason and another chance for Mike Gundy to go flirt with another job. There was Louisville and Arkansas in 2012, Baylor and Oregon last season and now Tennessee again.
While Gundy confirmed last night on Twitter he was staying at Oklahoma State, enough is enough. Oklahoma State fans deserve better than this.
For three of the past six offseasons, Gundy has now been tied to other jobs, reportedly receiving offers before turning them down. These weren’t just rumors of interest from one side or from reporters, but legitimate meetings, offers on the table and eventual rejections.
So as Oklahoma State fans breath another sigh of relief that the head coach who supposedly already has his “Yankees job” turned down another offer, look in the mirror and remind yourself: you’re better than this.
Oklahoma State fans still have that little brother complexion. That’s not meant to be an insult. That’s just the reality when you play in the same state as the Oklahoma Sooners and are constantly second fiddle (this statement is backed up by facts, once again, not meant to be an insult). Teams like Texas A&M, Auburn, Iowa State, UCLA, South Carolina, and other have had that little brother complexion for much of their existences as well.
But Oklahoma State is better than having to put up with Gundy, a freakin’ OSU alum, toying with the program, administration, booster(s) and fan base each and every offseason.
First off, Mike Gundy isn’t Nick Saban. Fans need to realize this. I think Mike Gundy is a great coach, but he does only have one Big 12 championship in this 13 years on the job. It’s awesome to have a coach that played for the program and is a local boy, but Gundy doesn’t even act like that much of the time with these offseason shenanigans. This is not how a head coach treats his alma mater.
Also, Oklahoma State has become a football program that can win 9-10 games per season with lots of head coaches. Mike Gundy isn’t using some magic pixy dust. Sure, some coaches would screw it up, like anywhere else, but the idea that Mike Gundy is the only person who could lead the Cowboys to its recent string of success is just not accurate. Stillwater is a fantastic college town, Oklahoma State has great facilities and still has its pipeline to Texas. Plus, Oklahoma State can now pay a coach $4-5 million per year. It’s great job. Top 10 job? No. But top 20 for sure. So, let’s not overstate the amount of success Mike Gundy has had.
Now sure, fans want to say he’s just angling for a salary bump or facilities improvements. I call BS. This is about an ego trip. And it’s an ego trip that Gundy is taking the fan base on a ride for far more often than it deserves. There’s clearly still some bad blood between Gundy, AD Mike Holder and T. Boone Pickens, and Gundy just can’t get enough of reminding those two, “hey, you’re lucky to have me.”
The disappointing part of this latest charade with Tennessee is that it comes weeks after another brutal Bedlam loss (remember, Baker Mayfield has more Bedlam wins than Mike Gundy) and this tweet/note from T. Boone Pickens.
I’m proud of @CoachGundy and #okstate football. Thanks for 1 of the greatest games I’ve ever watched. My heartfelt note to coach… pic.twitter.com/l2yucWFctZ
— T. Boone Pickens (@boonepickens) November 6, 2017
Gundy got his new contract earlier this year (of course it didn’t appear to go swimmingly, but he got it). Also, it is well noted that the university and the booster(s) have told Gundy, whatever you need, we’ll help however we can, in regard to facilities.
But the fact that it was Tennessee makes it that much more painful. Tennessee?! The dumpster fire in Knoxville?! That’s who Mike Gundy decided to go on a date with this offseason. This comes one offseason after Baylor of all places(!), a conference opponent, who was headed for a complete rebuild. He reportedly turned down Florida in recent weeks without a meeting, but decide to speak to the Vols. Nonsensical. Even Texas A&M I would somewhat understand. Not Tennessee.
Plus, to do it following a season where Oklahoma State didn’t come close to meeting expectations of a Big 12 championship and a potential College Football Playoff appearance, and lost all three of its games at home, takes real balls.
So who’s it going to be next offseason for Gundy? Odds are, someone will call, Gundy will take the call, have a meeting, send his fan base into a tizzy, and turn down the offer. Rinse and repeat. It’s become like clockwork.
The problem is, his act his wearing thin.
Hopefully Oklahoma State fans are starting to realize this and will stop excusing it. That’s long overdue.