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Big 12 Media Days: Oklahoma State

He's a man!! And now he's pushing 42?  Mike Gundy, perhaps the most entertaining Coach behind a podium in the Big 12 behind Dan Hawkins, stepped in front of the press to ring in 2010 for the Cowboys. 

Oklahoma State is going to be dealing with a tremendous amount of turnover this season from quarterback to the offensive line.  With that comes new challenges, new question marks and in the case of Gundy, a new offense.

The system is different than what we've had in the past, but I was pleasantly surprised that the organization was intact in the third or fourth practice of spring. I had prepared myself for -- for it to be a little chaotic. 

But the players bought in. The coaching staff did a good job with the team. And they picked the system up. There's been a lot of reps, but obviously we've got a long ways to go.  I guess the best answer for your question is it's gone much smoother than what I would have thought it would have gone early in spring

Quite the coaching job if you manage to implement a new offensive system in three to four practices.

One of the biggest challenges will be in replacing a very solid offensive line from a year ago, including a first round pick.   Much is made of experience on the offensive line and to some extent the evidence doesn't support this being a major problem, but it certainly has to present some question as to how effective the offense can be, doesn't it?

We have new offensive linemen, as you mentioned. We have four guys that don't have a lot of experience, but they've been in our system. They understand what it takes to win.  Coach Wickline has been with us going on six years now as our offensive line coach. So they have a good feel for him. And there's times in preseason camp that we'll play some musical chairs to find out where those guys fit.

One interesting note regarding Gundy and his switch to the offense, it would seem to be a major contrast to Turner Gill's reported philosophy and would avoid almost altogether the use of tight ends and fullbacks, something Gill and his staff are moving toward at Kansas.

I felt like the number of players that we could recruit to fit this system was greater than the system that we had competed with in the years before. If you look at the areas that we recruit in Kansas and Oklahoma and Texas, Louisiana, most of the offenses have a number of wide receivers who can make plays and running backs.

There's not as many tight ends. There's not as many fullbacks to recruit.  So we believe that the success in college football is all about the players you bring in, and there's a greater pool to choose from in this type of offense than what we have played with in the past.

It will be interesting to see if one or both philosophies and theories are successful.

At quarterback the Cowboys are replacing a successful one in Zach Robinson.  Who will they look to?  A Chris Weinke look a like in 26 year old Brandon Weeden.

I think there's an advantage in being older. We all know that we're different at 26 than we are at 18. And in order to
handle the pressures of being a quarterback and playing at this level, maturity is an advantage.

Brandon obviously signed to play professional baseball out of high school, so he's had a taste of what it's like to be out there and to deal with the media and the public and have success. There's obviously tough days. And I think that will help.

I was very impressed with him in the spring and the way he has adjusted in his leadership skills. He's done a nice job in the summer, see him in the office all the time, spending time in there studying tape.

Top five roadblocks to a successful transition in Stillwater

  1. T Boone Pickens.  - OSU boasts three Big 12 titles in any sport, he wants one in football...NOW!
  2. Chris Weinke 2.0 - Brandon Weeden showed potential a year ago, is it a seamless transition?
  3. A youth movement on the o-line - Is it a concern or not?
  4. Mike Gundy - he's 42 now, or close to it...does that make him an OLD man?  Bill Snyder says no.
  5. The Big 12 South - If A&M can creep in there and Tech can transition, OSU could be 5th or 6th.