Mike Gundy appeared on Mark Packer’s show on Sirius XM’s College Sports channel Monday.
The interview featured some chatter about Gundy’s farm and carting his three sons around for Little League baseball. But then it transitioned to Oklahoma State football.
Here’s what Gundy had to say:
On the OSU quarterback competition:
We’ve been very fortunate. We have talked about it quite a bit this spring, but we’ve got three guys that can play and they have all been successful, not only during the same season, but they have all been successful in league play, which is a true indication of what type of players and what type of futures that they have.
They are unique in their style of play with (Clint) Chelf being a good runner and a good thrower and a really smart operator and he really understands the game. Then you’ve got (Wes) Lunt, who is more of a Brandon Weeden type. Obviously not as experienced and very young. Then you’ve got J.W. Walsh, who has really improved his throwing. He’s — not a great — but a better than good runner. And we have had success with all of them. I think it’s a true sign of our offensive scheme and our offensive systems here and we are in really good shape.
On what position groups need to improve in the fall:
We have to have our backup and second and third running backs step up and make plays. You know Joseph Randle came out early this year and was a fifth-round pick of the (Dallas) Cowboys. Jeremy Smith is really our returning starter at running back that has got experience. We’ve got a couple of young guys behind him. They are not as experienced. We need those guys to step up. We have also got to have some improved play at the defensive end position. Both guys that we had last year gave us two or three good years of work. We’ve got some younger guys and an experienced guy, Sam Wren from the junior college level, who need to step up and make plays for us. I would say the defensive end spot and the running back spot. We’ve got a number of receivers and we’ve got defensive tackles returning. We’ve got corners coming back. We’ve got safeties coming back. We really have a pretty mature offensive line. So really those two positions from what we need to have step up to put us in that top 10 in the country category.
On the quarterback changeover in the Big 12:
You hit it right on the head in that the last two or three years there have been five or six or seven guys come out of this league that are now starting in the NFL or a backup. So it’s pretty rare that you have that many players come out of one league that are eventually starters at quarterback and they are in the league at the same time. The argument will go on forever about our league and the SEC. I think there is a lot of truth to what is out there in the public and the fans and the media. The SEC is dominating right now on defense. Offensively, I think the Big 12 is as good as what people see. If you look at the bowl games, when we leave our conference to play other teams, most of the schools in this league are still getting 400 and 500 yards of offense and scoring over 30 points. There is actually some fair reasons (to support) that we have really good play in this league.
But what you mentioned is true. For the first time, we’ll have some youth throughout this league at the quarterback spot. Even us. With Chelf, we have three guys that can play, but there are not any one of them that have more than five or six games of experience. You have the guys that came through this league that are in the NFL and then you have the guys that left this year, the guy at OU (Landry Jones) and then the guy at Baylor (Nick Florence) that played one season and did a great job for them. So it’s going to be an interesting season. But I will say the one thing about the Big 12 is there is a very gunslinger approach. I know there is at Oklahoma State. When the game is over and we walk off the field, we don’t want any bullets in the holster at all. We want to fire them all. And I think most people in this league play that way on offense.
On the Mississippi State game and big nonconference games early in the season:
I don’t think there’s any question it’s a really good matchup. Mississippi State has got skill players. They’ve got big guys. And obviously they play in a league where week to week, you know it’s going to be a battle from start to finish. And then in our league, as we talked about, it’s a different brand of football. And I agree, I think the fans and the media want to see that matchup. They want to see, “What can the Big 12 offense do to the SEC’s defense.” Mississippi State’s got a quarterback coming back (Tyler Russell) that’s potentially an NFL player, in my opinion. So it’s a great matchup.
There’s so many quality games. The stock market in college football would be going through the roof, because the parity that’s out there that’s been developed over the last five or six years, based on the spread offense, no-huddle offense and the NCAA rules—which I’m hoping that they don’t interrupt what’s going on right now in college football, because I think we’ve got a great parity in college football, which makes people want to watch every week.
On the college football playoff:
Not to give everybody the “I told you so,” but two seasons ago, when we ended up just missing the championship game, I had mentioned that, really, it should have been 1 and 4 and 2 and 3 playing and eventually we could have worked it out. And that’s what’s going to happen now. I’ve always been a believer in the BCS. We all signed up for it. It may not be perfect in the end, but it does give us a 1-2 game and I think that’s what we all want. Now, we can sit and debate and talk about who the 1-2 is for a long, long time, based on which league you come from, how many losses (you have). You can forget all that. Ultimately, we signed up to play in it, and then at the end of the day, if you’re not in it, then you probably should have won all your games.
But the way it’s going right now, the direction with the four teams, a committee, I heard the other day they’re talking about 16 or 18 people. I’m not so sure I think that’s a good idea. I would be in favor of six or eight. I think the more people you can put in one room can create some confusion. But either way, if we can somehow get what some people think would be the best four teams in a Final Four playoff and get to those games, it’s going to do two things. One, it’s going to make it interesting. And two, it’s going to drive the television market through the roof.