Mike Gundy has a concern with the OSU schedule. And it’s not just opening with a SEC foe.
The Cowboys open the season Aug. 31. They close the regular season Dec. 7. In between, OSU has three open dates — Sept. 21, Oct. 12, Nov. 30. So that’s 12 games over 15 Saturdays.
“We’ve now almost asked college players to carry an NFL-type schedule on their bodies,” Gundy said. “If we were playing a different type game, we wouldn’t pick up the pace until middle of September.”
Last year, OSU opened with a virtual “scrimmage” – Gundy’s word – against SavannahState. The Cowboys won 84-0 and it could have been 184-0.
But Mississippi State is a different beast. Similar to openers in 2007 and 2009 against Georgia.
“We have to put more time in, we have to have more drill work and more competition, whether there’s more hitting each other, than what we would if we were playing an opponent of that type,” Gundy said.
Gundy likened it to a Little League tournament, having to throw your ace in the first game instead of saving him for the winner’s bracket final.
Gundy said he would prefer one open date. He said OSU injuries historically have risen because of open dates. Either in practice, or in games leading up to or after open dates, because routines are disrupted. I don’t have any idea why a routine would be disrupted the Saturday before an open date, but that’s what Gundy said.
“We play the hand we’ve been dealt,” Gundy said. “I’m not a fan of extended seasons. We try to work our way through it. It is an unusual situation. We try to do the best we can to take care of our athletes.”