The OSU train wreck…
About the time we think OU has issues, we get a dose of reality in the form of an OSU train wreck. What we saw in Norman two weeks ago can’t hold a candle to what we saw in Stillwater last Saturday night. The Norman train wreck was a mere fender-bender by comparison.
OSU’s end of the season debacle could be seen coming as OSU front-loaded its football schedule. By playing high school teams early in the season along with the weakest Big 12 teams OSU, Aggie fans and the media got a false sense of security. While the moral victory against FSU was nice, Florida State simply got bored in the second half of that one.
Then came a dose of reality as TCU hammered the Pokes and brought the Aggie Nation back to earth. Then, one by one the Cowboys were pummeled by four more Big 12 teams. What, you ask has caused this train wreck? Of course the obvious choice here would be youth and inexperience along with an injury or two, but I suggest there may be a bigger picture here. I suspect that the rift between Mike Gundy and T. Boone Pickens may have precipitated the worst OSU season in years.
Under T. Boone, OSU hired the best assistant coaches money could buy. From Dana Holgorsen to Bill Young to Joe Wickline. The OSU cupboard was always stocked full of outstanding coaches on both sides of the ball. At first Mike Gundy seemed to be just fine with letting T. Boone call the shots.
Then came Gundy’s overtures with Arkansas and Tennessee that eventually resulted in Mike Holder upping Gundy’s salary to $4 million dollar a year. Now Mike began to think that he was hot stuff and well worth the money. That my friend is where the wheels began coming off…
Yes, OSU kept their Mike Gundy, but highly respected coaches wanted nothing to do with Gundy’s high priced arrogance. The Cowboys lost highly respected defensive coaches Bill Young and Vance Bedford to retirement and Texas respectively and offensive coaches Joe Wickline and Doug Meachum to Texas and TCU. These guys were exceptional coaches who were basically keeping Mike Gundy afloat. Evidence of that fact is what we see happening in Stillwater today.
Adding insult to injury will be the fact that OSU will not go bowling this year. Not only will this fact hurt recruiting, it will also set the team back next year as well. Teams use bowl practices to get a jump start on upcoming seasons. For a young team like OSU, these practices are critically important. I suspect that the OSU losing streak may extend into next year as well.
In Gundy’s defense, he no doubt assumed that anyone worth $ 4 million dollars for coaching a game must be pretty darn special. As a result Mike apparently decided to go off on his own and hire his own set of coaches; as we can see this did not work… Mike is not nearly as smart as he thinks he is. With Gundy being the arrogant ass that he is, he is not about to go crawling back to T. Boone.
That’s right, Gundy simply forgot who is daddy was and the Gundy/Poke run is over…Gundy was within a whisper of beating OU three years in a row and now his Cowboys are on the verge of being the 7th best team in a ten team league.
The good news for OSU fans is that there will be a ton of openings this off-season for Mike Gundy to consider. Additional good news is that T. Boone can buy out Gundy’s multi-year contract without breaking a sweat.
The bad news is that T. Boone may have created a monster in Mike Gundy. He may be the only guy in Stillwater with a bigger ego than T. Boone. With OSU being Gundy’s Yankee’s job, running Mike out of town may not be as easy as one would think.
In any case, the OSU train wreck will serve as a great distraction for OU fans as we work to get our own house in order.