The Oklahoman’s Gina Mizell took questions from readers in today’s Oklahoma State Power Lunch Chat. You can join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on NewOK.com/Sports. Here’s a recap of today’s Q&A:
Do you agree with Jenni Carlson regarding yesterday's assessment of Lunt? Why or why not?
I do agree with a lot of her points. But I think Chelf will be the Cowboys' starter in 2013. If that happens, redshirt Lunt and still give him time to develop and grow. Lunt said two weeks ago that he'd be open to that. Crazy that we could still be talking about Lunt as the starter here in 2016, huh?
I've said this before, but the interesting dynamic of this spring's race is a new set eyeballs working with these guys in Mike Yurcich. He could become enamored with Lunt's arm and demeanor like Gundy and Monken were last year. On the other hand ... Jenni mentioned Lunt practiced better than Chelf, and that's true. But last year, all coaches had to go off was practice. Not anymore. They've got game film and game results. That's my long-winded way of saying Chelf for 2013, Lunt for 2014 and beyond.
Can you compare "expectations" (within the program) this spring vs. the prior two seasons?
The expectation is to challenge for the Big 12 title, so I think that mirrors 2011 more than 2012. Uncertainty at QB always diminishes expectations somewhat. OSU knew it had a stud in Weeden two seasons ago. It knows it has three guys that can play the position this season. The biggest question remains if this defense — particularly the secondary — can improve enough (or return to its opportunistic ways) to put itself in position to win the Big 12. The offensive playmakers are there.
Who will challenge Justin Gilbert for title of "fastest Cowboy" this year?
Caleb Muncrief and Blake Webb were both track stars in high school. Incoming freshman Jerel Morrow is another track guy, but mostly jumps.
Which players seem to have made the most out of offseason strength and conditioning?
I wrote about this Monday — but Gundy always talks about the second offseason, particularly for JC players, being huge for development. So I'd expect guys like Calvin Barnett and Blake Jackson to benefit from a physical and mental standpoint. Wes Lunt continues to get stronger. Same with the sophomore offensive and defensive linemen ... several of those guys have bulked up since the season ended and will be even stronger by August.
Is Gundy on the hot seat after his great 8-5 mark last year?
So you think 8-5 is a good mark?
That's a different question.
TCU's new stadium is getting a lot of attention on ESPN's website lately. Have you had a chance to assess how OSU’s football facilities now rank in the Big 12?
Yeah, I've heard a lot about TCU's new stadium. Look forward to visiting there in 2014. OSU's facilities still rank near the top of the nation. And they continue to update and upgrade them. The area where we did our interviews before practice the other day was already completely updated with Fatheads from the Heart of Dallas Bowl, and with walk-ons that went on to have an impact at OSU. The turf at BPS certainly needs updating, but I'd imagine that will happen soon. And the indoor facility will be a big plus once it's finished, and it's almost there.
There is a lot of talk about Rob Glass and his strength and conditioning. Does OSU have a comparable person working with the basketball team?
Jake Manzelmann is the guy for men's hoops, and has been at OSU for several years. I haven't gone inside that offseason program enough to know how they specifically compare. Training for football and hoops are obviously two different animals, too. But, yes, Rob Glass is known as one of the best in the business.
Does Rob Glass work directly in conjunction with the athletic training staff at OSU? Or is he a separate entity more aligned with the coaching staff?
He works closely with both. His office and the football training room are both in the West End Zone. Also important to note that while Glass is the king of the football program, many of his staff members who work with football also work with other teams. For instance, Gary Calcagno works with wrestling. Nick Hoheisel works with women's hoops.
Who is more likely to be better for the next decade, OSU or OU?
Man, if I could predict what will happen in 2023, I would be cashing in on that skill and not sitting at this computer. Let's just say I think both programs are in good shape with the staffs and resources they have in place.
With Ben Howland being fired do you see the dominoes falling at other schools so that someone might have an interest in Travis Ford?
Always difficult to predict how the coaching dominoes will fall. One decision can affect another five coaches, it seems. And some hires are always out of left field. Remember Bret Bielema to Arkansas — who saw that coming? The way the season ended for OSU will hurt Ford's stock a bit, I'd imagine, but the guy has shown he can recruit ... and this was still a resurgent program for the Cowboys. I don't think he goes anywhere, but again, who really knows?
Does Mike Holder look at what happen at Minnesota as an example of what could possible happen at OSU? The situations seem very similar to one another.
I'm not familiar enough with the specifics of the situation at Minnesota (I assume you mean with Tubby Smith's tenure and firing) to properly judge or make that comparison. Did Smith have a really long contract? We could talk about Ford's 10-year contract forever. It was a questionable move, at best. But what's done is done.