Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 12/16/11


Want proof I'm an idiot? Check out my assessment from 18 months ago of 2011 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Mike Gundy.

A few choice snippets:

  • "I still can't shake the feeling that Gundy is holding the Pokes back."
  • "More importantly, under the brightest lights, Gundy's teams routinely flop."
  • "Maybe this is as good as it can get for the Pokes. It does make you wonder, though, where OSU would be if it had hired someone other than Gundy five years ago. And it makes you wonder where the Cowboys could be five years from now with a different coach."

(Granted, that pales in comparison to FoxSports.com columnist Thayer Evans spitting vitriol at Gundy and "Chokie State" earlier this year.)

 

There was a time when Gundy was known more for his childish rant against a columnist than anything he had done as a head coach. Stewart Mandel of SI.com dismissed him as a "complete clown." Local muckraker Dave Sittler of the Tulsa World was openly questioning whether uber-booster T. Boone Pickens would continue to put up with his perceived mediocrity. Conference rivals like myself scoffed at the notion that Gundy had a head coaching job in the Big 12.

 

We were wrong. Gundy made me and all his other critics look foolish this season.

Gundy steered OSU through the loss of offensive architect Dana Holgorsen to West Virginia in the off-season and the integration of new coordinator Todd Monken into his staff. On defense, the Cowboys not only survived the loss of six starters from 2010, but actually improved.

Aside from a slip-up in Ames, his team played masterfully. In the Cowboys' 11 wins, OSU beat its opponents by an average of four touchdowns. By nearly any measure, the Pokes played one of the toughest slates in the country – Jeff Sagarin, for example, rated OSU's schedule as the sixth-hardest in the nation.

And at the end of the day, who would've thought it would be Oklahoma State getting jobbed by the BCS this time around?

Gundy's detractors might argue that OSU caught lightning in a bottle this year. Maybe so, in terms of competing on a national level. What should be beyond dispute, though, is that Gundy's stewardship – in combination with a substantial influx of resources – has elevated OSU's program to heights never before seen in Stillwater.

So...

Here goes...

Coach Gundy, I was wrong. Congrats on a job well done.

[follow]

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