For the better part of the last two or three years, Oklahoma State basketball and its fans have grown impatient.
It showed in the win column, it showed in the stands, it showed on social media, it was everywhere. Last week, the collective frustrations finally burst the bubble that was the job of coach Travis Ford, as is officially on his way out of Stillwater for good.
Did the fans help that cause? Yes. Not going to games, actively protesting them in fact, put a dent in the action and more than likely pushed athletic director Mike Holder's hand. However big that dent was may never be known, but it's unquestionable that it's there.
But that's where the fan push stops. It doesn't go into the hiring process, it won't go into how long the contract lasts, it doesn't go into how much it will be, none of that can be persuaded by the fans. Sure, the Bring Doug Home movement has caught the attention of Mike Holder and even his wife(!) but that's probably the extent, it'll put the name in Holder's mind and he may get an invitation to interview for the job. But if Holder wants someone else, whether it be Brad Underwood, Chris Beard or Doug Gottlieb, that's who he's going to get.
"If I didn't know better, I'd think my wife was his agent,"[Mike] Holder said. "She loves Doug Gottlieb. And she's been a fan of his (from) the first time he got on the radio down in Oklahoma City.
- Mike Holder on Doug Gottlieb
This isn't to say that fans don't have the right to discuss who'd they prefer, because it doesn't. But after the last eight years, are any of these guys going to be much worse than ninth in the Big 12? Beard just took Arkansas-Little Rock to a 30-win season, Brad Underwood has lost a grand total of one conference game in two years, Doug Gottlieb knows Stillwater and would reignite a huge portion of the fanbase. They've all got something you've got to love about them. They're all great candidates. Sure, one could argue that OSU has already done something like an Underwood with Ford, but then again Ford never coached a team past the second round in all his years. His best postseason year was at UMASS as the NIT Runners-up in 2007-08, which got him the job at Oklahoma State, essentially.
None of the huge candidates being spoken of right now are that. All of these guys are winning games on a consistent basis. The only one that isn't is Doug Gottlieb.
Sure, he may flake out, but he may also end up like Fred Hoiberg or Steve Kerr. Obviously, the chance of either of those two coming to fruition is low, but then again, Gottlieb - and anyone on this list have a higher ceiling than Travis Ford ever really had.
And that's all that really matters, isn't it?