Mike Gundy, the new face of the Red River Rivalry?


Dec 7, 2013; Stillwater, OK, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy and Oklahoma Sooners head coach Bob Stoops before the game at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Rowe-USA TODAY Sports

As we all know by now, the Texas Longhorns are in search of a new head coach. Head coach Mack Brown will coach his last game in the Alamo Bowl on December 30 when the Oregon Ducks come to San Antonio, Texas. As highly unlikely as it seems, Coach Brown could come out on top, should Oregon come in playing uninspired, enabling Coach Brown to retire on a high note.

Texas has already tried to make a huge splash hire, attempting to sway Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban to come to Austin. Some reports stated a 10-year, $100 million deal with 1% ownership of the Longhorn Network. It wasn’t enough however to get Coach Saban, since he signed a deal with Alabama raising his salary in the neighborhood of $7-7.25 million a year. Going with that, it seems like a for gone conclusion that Nick Saban, is off the table. Now Texas must move on to their other candidates.

There are several strong front runners outside of Saban. David Shaw, Charley Strong, Mark Dantonio, and Mike Gundy have all been named as potential replacements. All the names are at good football programs. Given the states of the Stanford and Michigan State Programs, it would be highly unlikely that Coach Shaw or Dantonio will leave their positions for Texas. However, the other two on the list just might. Texas would be smart to give Coach Gundy a long hard look at becoming their next head coach.

Oklahoma State already has a very strong recruiting pipeline within the state of Texas, something the other coaches on the list would have to establish. The majority of the Cowboys players are from the state of Texas. OSU also has had success in the league. No small feat when you are in the same conference as the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Texas.

Despite the fact, Mike Gundy has an overall record of  77-37, leading the Cowboys to a 10-2 record this year, with a chance to take down a now top SEC team in the Missouri TIgers. He is considered to be an offensive mind, but heck, look at what OSU has done defensively. This year they are top of the conference in the defensive categories of total defense (5th), and points allowed per game (1st). Another mind blowing stat in that regard, OSU is ranked 10th in points allowed, and 71st in total defense in the country. Texas comparatively in the Big XII are 5th in points, ranked eighth in total defense, nationally are 52nd in points allowed and total defense 96th.

Of course every coach will have draw backs, and Mike Gundy will have question marks going into the hiring of Mack Brown’s replacement. The biggest question is, can Mike Gundy beat Oklahoma as the skipper of the Texas Longhorns?

He currently is only 1-8 against Bob Stoops. How would Mike Gundy be able to turn the fortunes around for himself and for Texas against Oklahoma? Texas currently has an overall series record of 43-60 over Oklahoma. Bob Stoops has the better of the Longhorns owning a record of 9-6.

Texas has struggled to produce points over teams including Oklahoma in the previous two seasons. Oklahoma has out scored Texas a combined 121-38. This season was no different, though they defeated Oklahoma this year, 36-20, Texas fell and fell hard to BYU, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, and Baylor.

Their Defense couldn’t stop anyone; which lead Texas to reassigning Manny Diaz and rehiring Greg Robinson as defensive coordinator. Also, the offense couldn’t answer when they needed too. Given Texas’s talent, and the schemes that OSU runs both offensively and defensively,  Texas would certainly improve their teams ability to score points, and get stops when they need them. Something Texas has lacked the ability to do in recent years. Something Mike Gundy could in theory, change in less than a season.

Despite the questions that will undoubtedly come up about his OU record, Mike Gundy is a respected head coach. He has had success in the Big XII, and has had success in bowl games enjoying a 5-2 post season record. Mike Gundy with the seemingly endless resources of Texas, adding to that his head coaching prowess on offense, and his ability to have excellent defensive coordinators, could make life very hard for the Stoops brothers and the University of Oklahoma in the annual Red River Rivalry Game.  Installing a Mike Gundy style attack in Austin, might be just what Texas needs to not only get the better of Bob Stoops, but also to get back to national prominence.