The Oklahoman's Gina Mizell took questions from readers in today's Oklahoma State Power Lunch Chat. Join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewsOK.com/Sports. Today's chat focused on coaching rumors about Mike Gundy and OSU's postseason visit to the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Here's a look at the Q&A:
ON MIKE GUNDY AND THE COACHING CAROUSEL:
Robert Allen is reporting that Gundy has decided to stay. Are you hearing anything different on your end?
We heard the same thing from Robert on the radio this morning. We're about to add this to our current story on the web, but according to one of our sources close to Tennessee, there now seems to be a question on if Gundy actually got a job offer this morning. Telling us Charlie Strong, not Gundy, has the offer on his desk right now. Coaching drama is fun, isn't it?
Are OSU fans going to have to continually go through this drama every year or can Holder and Gundy be adults and figure out that they are tearing apart the program they have all worked so hard to build? All this public bickering can't be good to keep the fan base together and I doubt the players and potential recruits are real impressed or happy about it.
That is, I think, the biggest question. Berry's column completely nailed it today, I think. Obviously, all relationships go through rough patches. These seem like small things that can be fixed or compromised or whatever. It's been interesting to see fans' reactions to all of this. Some are upset at Gundy for flirting with other jobs. Some are mad at Holder for not just giving Gundy what he wants and making him want to look at other jobs. Obviously, things can be repaired, and it will have to be for things to continue to work at OSU.
Be honest, Gina. What is going on between Holder and Gundy, and why. Don't be afraid to be honest.
It's been written about several times in the past 3-4 days. The two major things are that the contract negotiation process did not go well for anyone involved last winter, and Gundy is very, very adamant about wanting more control over nonconference scheduling. Additionally, Holder is frugal and can be frosty and can, in general, be a difficult boss. Again, if you want the best insight, I'd read Berry's column today.
What are the chances someone was leaking misinformation about Gundy and Arkansas to negotiate with Bielema in private? I never saw Bielema on UA shortlist until he was hired.
The coaching carousel is, of course, a game. But we have great sources that confirm that Gundy and Arkansas AD Jeff Long did indeed meet in Tulsa for about three hours on Monday. Clearly, there was plenty of misinformation out there yesterday that Gundy was hired. We never reported that, because it wasn't true. I think Bret Bielema threw everyone a curveball. Again, these coaching searches can be unpredictable at times.
Assuming Gundy is sticking around, are you hearing of any potential HC jobs for Monken? Would he have been considered for the OSU HC job if Gundy had left?
To answer your first question, haven't heard much about Monken and head coaching jobs. As of last Monday, he hadn't been contacted by anybody. I think his name will heat up once these first jobs are filled ... when the first dominoes fall, so to speak. That will create other openings that Monken could be in contention for. To answer your second question, yes, I think Monken would have been an obvious candidate if Gundy had left.
Why do you all report speculation? I thought you all were supposed to report the facts?
We don't report on speculation. We talk to sources who are close to the parties involved, and they tell us what's going on. That's what we've reported during this entire process. Stand by everything that Berry, John Helsley and I have written throughout this whole saga.
ON OKLAHOMA STATE’S POSTSEASON:
Any word on why OSU fell so far in the bowl game pecking order?
One word: Politics. And the fact that OSU wasn't a very attractive option after losing its last two games. OSU just played a bowl game in the desert, so the BWW Bowl opted for TCU. Baylor has never played in the Holiday Bowl and is arguably the hottest team in the Big 12 right now. Not really sure why the Houston Bowl picked Texas Tech, but West Virginia to the Pinstripe made perfect sense geographically. And then, there's OSU still sitting there and getting sent to the bowl that's supposed to go to the Big 12's eighth-place team. Bowls are funny like that.
I doubt you are going to get much interest in the Heart of Dallas Bowl after what has been transpiring the past couple of days. Come to think of it, not sure there was much interest in that in the first place.
It's certainly been on the back burner with all this Gundy stuff. But we're planning a pretty cool package for Sunday's paper to answer a pretty simple question — what they heck is the Heart of Dallas Bowl? How a bowl is "created" is interesting to me and hopefully to
What is the injury situation for OSU going into the bowl game?
Hard to say at this point, since there's still about a month to go until the game. I would be surprised if James Castleman was ready to go. Brod Brown was also hampered in the Baylor game, but played, so he should be healed pretty well by the time the game rolls around.
What’s going on with Wes Lunt these days? Who do you expect to start at QB for the Heart of Dallas bowl?
I'm very curious to see how the coaching staff handles the QB situation for the bowl. At first, I thought starting Chelf would be a no-brainer. But is this where you get Wes Lunt back in the mix for game snaps? How much does J.W. Walsh play? He was brought in on a 1st-and-10 against Baylor — not a short-yardage or goal-line situation. Is his package/role expanding? I don't know the answer to that question yet ... but it's definitely worth exploring in a story leading up to bowl season.
ON THE (EXPECTED) 2013 QB RACE IN STILLWATER:
With Walsh being named Offensive Freshman of the Year, how much fire does that add to the 2013 QB Race? Do you see Lunt starting next year? I think Chelf missed wide on a number of throws the last two weeks.
Again, it will be interesting to see how the coaches handle the spring. You have to think it's an open competition again, right? Based on how each played, started and had good moments during the season. It will be fascinating to see how it's all managed.
ON THE ALL-BIG 12 TEAMS:
Did you find it strange Josh Stewart was not on the first- or second-team All-Big 12 that was announced? I guess 96 catches doesn't get you as far as it once did
Yes, that's surprising. But he made the first team in the All-Big 12 team voted on by the media (including yours truly). Shows that writers pay more attention than coaches? =)