STILLWATER — Oklahoma State became the latest Big 12 school to schedule a special board of regents meeting to discuss conference realignment.
OSU coach Mike Gundy's feelings on the matter have not changed — he wants to keep the Big 12 together. And he admitted during Monday's press conference that he is mostly kept out of the loop when it comes to conference realignment talk.
“I don't know, really, what's going on,” Gundy said. “I only trust the people that are making the decisions are doing it for the right reasons. At some point, maybe all this will clear up and at least we can talk about football and we can let this go, but there's a lot happening.”
The Oklahoma State University/A&M Board of Regents will meet at 2 p.m. Wednesday at OSU's ConocoPhillips Alumni Center in Stillwater to “consider matters relating to athletic conference membership,” according to a statement from the school.
Gundy said he would be most disappointed to see the Big 12 rivalries go away. The No. 6 Cowboys' contest against No. 8 Texas A&M on Saturday provides the perfect example, as this weekend will probably be the last time the two teams face each other as conference foes.
“I just hate that there could be teams that have traditionally been in this part of the country — been in the Big 8, been in the Big 12, in the Southwest Conference, been in this league — that may not have anywhere to go that are good football teams,” Gundy said. “Then, there are other teams that are in this geographical location that may be way out of here, to a certain extent.”
Here's what else Gundy had to say during Monday's press conference.
On what he took away from the Tulsa game:
“I thought we played pretty well in the first half. We didn't play very well against the run throughout the game — we were soft. So you take that part and put it aside. Other than that, we played pretty well. And then in the second part of the third quarter and the fourth quarter, guys just went through the motions. Grades of the players were considerably better in the first half than they were in the second half.”
On OSU's run defense, which gave up 365 yards against TU, facing Texas A&M next:
“I'm concerned with it. (A&M runs) a little bit different scheme, but my concern (from the TU game) was two things. One, we played too high up front and we were too soft, and that doesn't have anything to do with what they did or what our defensive scheme was. And two, you always have to stop a team that's going to run the ball if they're willing to run it, or you're going to be in for a long night. We were more athletic than Tulsa, so we were able to score a lot of points. But we're going to be in games where we don't have that luxury. Teams are going to be as talented as we are at the skill positions, so we're going to have to play good football inside. Those are the two things that concerned me, and we will work diligently this week to get it corrected before we go to A&M and play, obviously, a very good football team.”
On the atmosphere at Kyle Field:
“It's a great home field advantage. We've had success there and won before. Fortunately, we have mature players, and I expect them to play well. You never know, obviously. There will be some guys that will be playing on the road for the first time, but there should be enough leadership in our locker room and guys that understand that when you get on the field and you're between those lines, it's 11-on-11.”
On how the OSU coaching staff will adjust without co-defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer, whose wife, Angela, died Saturday:
“Our defensive staff will obviously game plan the same way. We won't have input from (Spencer), and he's a very good football coach, so we have to find ways to overcome that. The other coaches have to make up for that particular part of the game plan that he's responsible for. We have a coach (quality control coach Andrew Thacker) that's set up to coach his linebackers, and I have faith in him. He's a young guy that's been in our program and he'll do a good job. Then the last bit falls on the players, on the linebackers. They have to make up for it. They have to be willing to overcome circumstances and prepare and stay focused.”