He’s a man! He’s 40(ish)! And, apparently, Mike Gundy‘s also brutally honest when it comes to his football team.
A great deal of angst has been spilled and tears shed over who should fall immediately behind top-ranked LSU and play for the BcS title. A solid case could be made for several teams, from Alabama to Oklahoma State to Stanford to Virginia Tech to, yes, even Houston.
The main focus, though, has seemingly centered of late on the Tide and the Cowboys. Each team has just one loss, but in those defeats lies the crux of the argument — UA lost to unbeaten LSU at home in overtime, while OSU tripped against 6-5 Iowa State on the road.
If you’re among those who argue Oklahoma State’s loss is worse than Alabama’s and thus deserves to be ranked behind the Tide, take comfort in the fact that you’re in good company. Company, as it turns out, includes the Cowboys’ own head coach.
“If somebody sat me down and said (I) had to make a decision,” Gundy said Monday by way of the Daily Oklahoman, “with where we’re at right now, Alabama lost to what would be the No. 1 team in the country (LSU), and Oklahoma State lost to Iowa State.
“In our situation, if I was doing it fair, I don’t know how I could put us in front of (Alabama) right now.”
While some, including Gundy apparently, look solely at the weaknesses of the losses in assessing each team’s worthiness, others put a great deal of weight in the strength of the respective team’s wins. On that front, the two teams are evenly matched. Div. 1-A opponents Alabama’s faced currently own a .550 winning percentage, while Oklahoma State’s win at a .547 clip. The Cowboys have faced four teams that appeared in the Top 25 of the most recent BcS rankings — No. 11 Kansas State, No. 17 Baylor, No. 22 Texas, No. 25 Missouri — while three of the Tide’s opponents — No. 1 LSU, No. 8 Arkansas, No. 21 Penn State — fall into that category.
Oklahoma State still has one regular season game left, however, against 9-2 and 10th-ranked (in the BcS) Oklahoma in Bedlam Saturday. A win by the Cowboys, particularly if it’s a blowout, could change the minds of some voters. Gundy, who is not one of the 59 coaches who vote in the USA Today poll, said he’s only concerned with taking care of business in Bedlam and then allowing the will of voters to decide which team deserves a shot — or another shot, as the case may be — at knocking off the Bayou Bengals in New Orleans.
“I’m not saying that I wouldn’t (politick),” Gundy said. “…I don’t spend much time thinking about it, and so if somebody made me do it, I would probably say something. I would do it uncomfortably. But I wouldn’t mention it until after the game, and at that time, it may be too late.
“I just think we need to prepare and do the best we can to win this game, and then move forward from that point on.”
Moving forward for OSU would likely include preparing for a BcS bowl other than the title game as it’s nearly a foregone conclusion that, regardless of what happens this weekend and for better or worse, we’re set for an LSU-Alabama rematch.
At this point I’d say something snarky about the BcS’ “every game matters” mantra and the dire need for a playoff, but it gets tiresome urinating into the same stiff breeze year after year, so why bother?