Coaches on the hot seat
A few weeks ago, I blogged about coacheshotseat.com, a website that tracks the status of college football coaches. I wrote about the grades given Bob Stoops and Mike Gundy for the 2007 season; each received a C, which I thought was low. Stoops, I said, deserved a B+ for winning the Big 12, while Gundy earned at least a B- for going 4-4 in the Big 12.
Anyway, Joe Gillis contacted me. He’s the fellow who runs coacheshotseat.com, and we corresponded a little bit about coaches and newspapering, and it was good stuff. He expounded on his takes, and I thought I would share some of his thoughts with you.
On Stoops: “You, I (I run a technology company in my day job), and 7 other people from Coaches Hot Seat (Of our group of 28 people, most work in the technology business in Silicon Valley) could have coached Oklahoma to a 11-3 record in ’07! Seriously, make that 12-2, because our ’staff’ would not have lost to an incredibly mediocre Colorado team that even Bill Callahan and Nebraska ran points up on. The problem with Stoops is that he has lost his fire, no, he still has more fire than most coaches, but it is way down from 5 years ago. You can really see his passion go down when the game doesn’t matter, like the recent Fiesta Bowl, which meant about as much to OU as the touch football game I played in on Saturday meant to me. Not much.”
On Mike Gundy: “Gundy is one of the few coaches in I-A that truly does not deserve to be a head football coach. If not for T. Boone, Gundy would probably be an offensive coordinator somewhere right now, and would be up for head coaching jobs in the next couple of years, but as you well know, if T. Boone wants it, T. Boone gets it. Just ask Mike Holder about that! If T. Boone wanted Holder and the boys to come to work with Hawaiian shirts on singing Don Ho songs, then one would think June Jones had been hired in Stillwater if you happened to wonder into the athletic offices there. As my buddies in the venture capital business say, if T. Boone invests in your company then he has you by the —–, and T. Boone has Oklahoma State by the —–, and no doubt he could get Howdy Doody hired as the head football coach there if he so wished. If Gundy doesn’t beat Texas Tech last season, then his biggest win would have been at Nebraska, and you and I could have beaten Callahan in Lincoln with the ’07 OSU team. I do think Gundy is becoming a better coach though, because I and another guy were at that Troy game last season, and we had sideline passes and Gundy looked like he was on another planet coaching that game. I followed the OSU team towards their locker room, after they got clocked in the first half, and you would have thought OSU was winning the game, because if I had been coaching them I would have been chewing them out from one end of Troy to the other, but Gundy acted like he was at an English tea party. Of course, he showed some fire, and his ass, when he jumped all over Jenni Carlson about the Bobby Reid story. If Gundy had done anything in his life except hang around football fields, like work in the real world and serve his country in war (as several people here at Coaches Hot Seat have done on the latter), he wouldn’t have acted like a spoiled brat over the Reid story. I almost jumped through the TV screen watching that moron, thinking about all the 18 year old “kids” in Iraq that are living and dying over there, and here is Bobby Reid acting like a baby and getting away with it. One thing for sure, if you dropped Gundy in Baghdad for 30 days he might actually get a lesson in how the real world works, because there he would not have a billionaire benefactor protecting his ass at every turn.”
Well, I thought that was dang interesting. I still say he’s too harsh on both Stoops and Gundy, but it’s always revelating to get an outsider’s take. This is a guy from California who observes from afar. He doesn’t know nearly as much about our state or its football as I do, or you do, but you still can learn from someone who has a fresh perspective.
I wrote him back and he responded with even more nuggets.
“Stoops is a better coach than Brown, Pinkel, Leach, and Hawkins. He has as good or better talent, but for some reason he has been having 1 to 2 letdowns the past few years. All you have to do is watch him, and his coaches, on the sideline in a big game, and then in a lesser game. There is just huge difference in intensity. I had a sideline pass for the Oregon game two years ago, and Bob and his coaches were just going crazy, which is what coaching a game in Autzen Stadium will do to you. (My wife went to Cal, me Stanford, so I have been in Autzen a few times! Of course, that Oregon game was one of the great rip-offs in the history of sports!) Then at Lubbock against Tech this year, our Coaches Hot Seat guy that went to the game said Stoops looked bored during most of the game. I am sure his players pick up on that, and that was really evident in the Fiesta Bowl.
“Speaking of Bob Stoops being bored, for the Super Bowl we had almost the entire Coaches Hot Seat group together and we put the top 25 coaches in the game up on a board and then guessed where they would be in 10 years. In 10 years the votes came out to:
“Mike Gundy: Asst coach in the NFL;
“Todd Graham: Texas A&M head coach;
“Urban Meyer: Head coach at Notre Dame or Ohio State;
“Bob Stoops: Head coach at Florida.
“The most interesting prediction you ask? Nick Saban: unemployed!”
Like I said, Joe Gillis and coacheshotseat.com is nothing but interesting. But I need to ask Joe; if you really speculated on the top 25 coaches, were Gundy and Graham really in the top 25? That’s a pretty big compliment. Joe’s comments about Gundy didn’t seem to support that theory, but if they really think Gundy is a top-25 coach, then I can see why they hold him to such a high standard and gave him a C.
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