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Anonymous Big 12 Coach Calls Oklahoma State ‘The Most Confusing Team in the League’

NCAA Football: Big 12 Football Championship-Baylor vs Oklahoma State

There’s nothing quite like anonymous reports from Big 12 coaches, unless, of course, you happen to be on the receiving end of some backlash from one of your colleagues. With Athlon Sports in the trenches, finding out what each coach has to say about their opponents, fans of the Big 12 get spoiled this time of year with anonymous reports that stir the pot, regardless of who may have said it.

While reading through the reports may cause some sense of commotion, one of the more interesting anonymous reports was sent in the direction of Mike Gundy and the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

 

“Probably the most confusing team in the entire league. They can beat the crap out of you or beat themselves the same way; it really just depends on the week. For having a veteran coach, they struggle to stay consistent. … [QB Alan] Bowman could work out in [Mike] Gundy’s system; he obviously knows the league. The DC hire [Bryan Nardo] is really intriguing, it’s like what he did a few years back bringing in [Mike] Yurcich from a small school. I’d worry less about the small-school hire and more about rebuilding from scratch using the portal.”

I’m not saying that I agree with the quote above one hundred percent, but if you’re Mike Gundy, can you blame them?

While the report isn’t saying that Gundy isn’t the right man for the job in Stillwater or anything of that nature, his team was incredibly inconsistent last season. The Cowboys were picked to finish third in the Big 12 Conference by the 2022 preseason media polls, and while they finished two places lower than expected in fifth, I don’t know if they ever truly found their baseline.

The Cowboys finished their 2022 season off with a record of 7-6 overall, 4-5 in conference play, and while their overall record may not look too bad, the games they played on an individual basis were a completely different story. Look no further than the stretch of four games starting with TCU on October 15th, and ending with Kansas on November 5th.

 

Over the four-week period, the Pokes went from ranked in the Top 10 in the country to unranked. Oklahoma State managed a record of 1-3 against TCU, Texas, K-State, and Kansas.

In a bizarre stretch, they started off with the second-closest game that the Horned Frogs played all season (with the exception being the Big 12 Championship) losing to TCU 43-40 in a game that went to double overtime in Ft. Worth, not exactly a bad loss to a CFB Playoff team. They then headed back home to take on Texas, a team that was gaining momentum with a shot at a Big 12 Title. The Cowboys handled business and beat the Longhorns by a touchdown, 41-34.

After going 1-1 against a CFB Playoff team and a motivated Texas team with one of the best rosters in football, queue up games against Kansas State, and Kansas. While multiple things can be said about the K-State game, the Cowboys looked awful from the jump getting shutout 48-0 against the eventual Big 12 champs. To wrap up that stretch, the Cowboys were then sent home by Lance Leipold and the Jayhawks, 37-16 all but sealing off the wild season for Oklahoma State.

In the middle of an interesting offseason for Gundy and the Cowboys, the anonymous coaches may be onto something as Oklahoma State still has many questions to answer heading forward.

While it’s certainly possible that the 2022 season was just a fluke for Oklahoma State and they will get back to 2021 form when they reached the Big 12 Championship Game, we will have to wait and see as the Cowboys take the field on September 2nd against Central Arkansas to open their 2023 campaign.

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