Mike Gundy’s bowl record is 5-2. That’s quite good.
That’s the same winning percentage as Mack Brown, who takes a 10-4 record into his Alamo Bowl swan song.
Bob Stoops is 7-7 in bowls. Bill Snyder is 6-8. Art Briles is 2-1.
Les Miles was 1-2 at OSU but is 5-3 at LSU, so 6-5 overall. Urban Meyer was a combined 7-1 with Utah and Florida. Nick Saban is a combined 8-6 at Alabama, LSU and MichiganState. Mark Richt is 8-4 with Georgia. Pete Carroll was 7-2 at Southern Cal. Jimbo Fisher is 3-0 at FloridaState. Frank Beamer is 9-11 at Virginia Tech. Mark Dantonio is 3-4 at Cincinnati and Michigan State.
Well, you get the drift. I don’t know what bowl data means. You play different teams, different locales. Miles’ first bowl foe was Southern Miss; his last bowl foe for OSU was Ohio State. Gundy has been to Greater Phoenix twice for bowls; his first was against hapless Indiana, the second was against Andrew Luck and Stanford.
But things tends to even out. Bob Stoops had a run of BCS opponents. Then he had a run of Luck-less Stanford, Connecticut and Iowa in bowl games.
So Gundy’s 5-2 record is impressive:
* His 6-6 team in 2006 beat a 6-6 Alabama team in the Independence;
* His 6-6 team in 2007 beat 7-5 Indiana in the Insight;
* His 9-3 team in 2008 lost to 9-3 Oregon;
* His 9-3 team in 2009 lost to 8-4 Ole Miss in the Cotton;
* His 10-2 team in 2010 beat 7-5 Arizona in the Alamo;
* His 11-1 team in 2011 beat 11-1 Stanford in the Fiesta;
* His 7-5 team in 2012 beat 6-6 Purdue in the Heart of Dallas.
So Gundy’s bowl record is solid. He had a couple of games he obviously should have won, and he did.
How does Gundy explain his bowl success?
“I like our practice plan, I like our approach,” Gundy said. “I think it gives us the best chance at success.”
So, what is the approach?
“Bowl games are about a mental approach,” Gundy said. “First off, they have to want to be in the bowl game. It has to be important to ‘em.”
And what of the practice plan?
“We give our players considerable time off,” Gundy said. “We’re two days on, one day off. Don’t ever go pads more than one day in a row. Our practices are cut considerably. We feel like it rehabilitates our players mentally.”