Mike Gundy should be breathing easy these days. He's living charmed on hiring Dana Holgorsen.
The same cannot be said of Oliver Luck, like Gundy, another ex-quarterback of some note who has risen to a position of power at his alma mater.
Luck, the West Virginia athletic director, has the football coach he wanted, Holgorsen, albeit a few months early.
Before his Mountaineer offense has even taken the field for a game, Holgorsen has embarrassed himself and his employer. And gotten a promotion and raise out of the deal. Holgorsen was offensive coordinator/head-coach-in-waiting. Now the wait is over. Almost heaven, West Virginia.
Holgorsen now leads Mountaineer football, and out here on the prairie, we should wish him well. He did right by Oklahoma State.
Holgorsen provided Gundy with instant offensive excellence at OSU and no public scandals. Sort of the opposite of what Holgorsen has done at West Virginia.
Holgorsen likes the night life; that was obvious from his 11 months in Stillwater, when he lived in a hotel and had a graduate assistant who virtually served as his driver. Holgorsen didn't come to work until 9 a.m., which in football time means half the day is gone.
Maybe in Oklahoma, Holgorsen dabbled in the kind of behavior he exhibited in West Virginia — removed, intoxicated, by peace officers from a casino at 3 a.m. — but there's no record of it. He directed Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon on how to score a ton of touchdowns, and an OSU season billed as rebuilding instead became historic, with 11 victories.
Holgorsen didn't seem to completely mesh with the Cowboy staff, but you can't argue with the results. In retrospect, Gundy deserves an A-plus for his handling of Holgorsen.
Recognizing the offensive possibilities. Navigating the potential staff problems. Keeping Holgorsen's carousing a non-issue.
Gundy never seemed intent on Holgorsen being a long-term addition, and now we see why. Holgorsen was an excellent coach with ambition and a self-destructive streak. That's got one-year wonder written all over it.
Holgorsen left Stillwater before the honeymoon ended, courtesy of Luck, the West Virginia athletic director who so far is proving to be a much better QB than administrator.
This coach-in-waiting model has become all the rage in college football. Texas. Oregon. Purdue. Florida State. All kinds of schools have adopted it.
Except this had a Shakespearean twist. After one season coordinating the West Virginia offense, Holgorsen would replace a head coach, Bill Stewart, who neither wanted to step down nor wanted Holgorsen within a country road of the Mountaineer offense.
With a Lame Duck coach and a Lame Luck athletic director, the plan was doomed to fail. And so it did. Stewart apparently launched a smear campaign against Holgorsen, which frankly was easy to do considering Holgorsen's casino antics.
The nonsensical ascension plan dissolved, Luck was forced to choose and his choice was obvious. Luck took the coach he wanted over the coach he didn't.
Luck's the doofus in this whole deal. What a goofball plan. But it might not even be West Virginia's worst football hiring of the last 41 months.
The Mountaineers hired Stewart in January 2008 on no sleep. That's always a dangerous time to make a decision.
In the wee hours after the Mountaineers' 48-28 Fiesta Bowl trouncing of Oklahoma, then-AD Ed Pastilong handed Stewart the reins of a program that had turned all giddy. West Virginia, emotionally decimated by the loss of native-son Rich Rodriguez to Michigan, found relief in the homespun Stewart, whose one-game interim stretch with Rich-Rod's players and offense was mighty impressive.
Fast forward three years, to a program that had slipped at the box office and in the Big East pecking order. Stewart's charm wore thin as the Mountaineers gave way to the likes of Cincinnati and Connecticut.
Luck replaced Pastilong last summer and created an equally absurd hiring plan.
And back in Stillwater, Gundy sits without an offensive care in the world, awaiting what could be another glorious season, with Weeden, Blackmon and new coordinator Todd Monken, who seems like a perfect Cowboy fit.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.