It's interesting how time functions. Sometimes we say "Wow, it doesn't feel like it's been that long." At other times we say "Wow, it feels like it's been longer than that." With Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy, it definitely feels like the latter, and it should.
Of the last 28 football seasons at OSU, Gundy has been present for 23 of them. He was the starting QB from 1986-89, joined the coaching staff in 1990, left after 1995 and returned for good in 2001.
After taking over in 2005, Gundy did some housecleaning before embarking on his ONLY losing season. Here are the regular season records:
Just a note...as a stats guy, I always like to take out the "outlier" numbers. In this case, I removed 2005 and 2011. However, while the win percentages changed a little, the average wins and losses didn't change at all, so I left those seasons in the calculations.
-ONE LOSING SEASON
-Eight consecutive winning seasons
-2012 is the only season since 2007 with less than 9 wins
-2012 road record of 1-4 was the first losing record away from home since 2005
-The only season without a winning record in September? 2012.
-While the overall record after November 1 doesn't look great, 2012 was the first losing record since 2007 in that month. Since then, OSU has gone 17-9 (63%). The Cowboys have only lost MORE than 1 game after November 1st once since 2008. Much like the NFL, winning games down the stretch, when the pressure is the greatest, is a key ingredient to a good season. (NOTE: December games are counted in with November)
-Setup for the stretch run is also important, and OSU is really good in October. Since 2007, the Cowboys have posted a 21-4 record for the middle month of the season, and are 10-0 over the past three seasons.
-Over the past 6 seasons OSU has an average record of 9-3.
-Under Gundy, the Cowboys have a winning record in every month of the regular season.
-Obviously OSU has a winning record at home (any decent Div I program should), but they also possess a winning record on the road under Gundy's watch. As noted above, 2012 was the only losing road record other than 2005. In fact, if you remove 2012 from the equation, the Cowboys have gone 18-3 from 2009-13. That's crazy territory for this program.
Gundy has exorcised many demons, including Lubbock and the Longhorns, and a conference title, but there is one blemish to this otherwise exemplary resume...
-Bedlam record? 1-8.
Why is that such a big deal? Afterall, OSU only averages about 1 win every 6 games and has gone major stretches between victories. OU is, without debate, the historically better football program.
Well, since 2009, the Cowboys have arguably been the equal or better team entering the game, carrying a better national ranking into Bedlam 4 of the last 5 seasons. OSU faithful have long awaited the day when they didn't have to annually wish for some kind of special magic to bring home a win over our crimson brethren from Norman.
Bob Simmons has more Bedlam wins than Gundy.
The surprising thing about this is that Gundy has been a part of three Bedlam victories, as well as back to back wins in 2001-02. He knows what it takes.
There is no question that Mike Gundy is the greatest head football coach in school history, and has propelled the Cowboys to consistent winning football and annual contention for conference championships. OSU has even made it into national title conversations. Gundy is without question a top 15 coach in the country, maybe even top 10. I'm not advocating that I would rather have Bob Simmons instead of Mike Gundy.
Bedlam, however, is Gundy's "ball and chain." Boone's money has helped him bring the program to new heights, but apparently Bedlam victories can't be bought. Gundy will have to get that done on his own.
The next level awaits, and "Big Game" Bob stands in his way.