There is no arguing this: Brad Underwood can coach.
14-seed Stephen F. Austin knocked off 3rd-seeded West Virginia, and was a tip-in buzzer beater from Notre Dame from the Sweet 16.
If you watched SFA take West Virginia to the woodshed for 40 minutes, then you saw the physicality first hand. An under-manned, under-sized team from the Southland Conference did what Oklahoma State had two opportunities to accomplish. OSU didn't come close once. It's not a product of the talent on the Lumberjacks' team, but a testament to the coaching ability that Brad Underwood brings to the table.
It should be noted that Thomas Walkup is a stud. SFA is not completely devoid of talent, but a team from the Southland is always going to be significantly undermanned against power conferences.
The question becomes, if Brad Underwood could do what he did at SFA with very limited recruiting resources, what could he do at Oklahoma State with limitless recruiting resources? How could you not be excited about that thought?
For the sake of transparency, I was on the #BringDougHome bandwagon weeks ago. In the middle of a 12-20 season, the future seemed brighter, and the grass greener, with a guy like Gottlieb. However, after seeing the list of coaches who would potentially be interested in the job, my interest in Gottlieb cooled. An opinion is not a set-in-stone thing. Opinions change, and people change. In such a complicated situation with a lot of moving parts, it's okay to have a different opinion after being better-informed. A beautiful thing about the country we live in is that you are more than entitled to your opinion. Just be ready to defend it.
Now we can talk about Underwood v. Gottlieb.
A concern that I'm seeing on Twitter and Facebook is this: "Can Underwood's success translate to the Big 12?"
That concern is not beyond the realm of reason. I understand that concern. A common comparison i've seen is Underwood could be the next Travis Ford. Maybe he would be. But keep in mind Travis' best postseason finish was runner-up in the NIT when Oklahoma State brought him in. Underwood is a far more accomplished coach with greater experience, and frankly, a better resume. You mustn't ignore a 53-1 conference record, even if it was in the Southland.
However, the #BringDougHome campaign seems to have no problem believing Doug Gottlieb's success on the court and in the broadcast booth would undoubtedly translate to the Big 12. My issue with this is the consistency of this argument. If you are going to have a concern about Underwood's ability to coach in a very good conference, should you not be more concerned with Gottlieb's ability to coach in the Big 12? I'm going directly off of the logic that is being used by many on social media. The logic isn't the issue. It's the consistency.
Gottlieb has never coached a game. In the words of Mike Holder, "That's huge."
If you think Gottlieb is the best candidate for Oklahoma State, that's fine. It really is. I think he could have the potential to be a good coach. Gottlieb knocked that PFB podcast out of the park! He is well spoken, charismatic, and understands Oklahoma State University. But those are not the only qualifications a candidate should possess for a top three job in the Big 12.
If you think Gottlieb is the best candidate because you aren't sold on Underwood, that's fine. However, it is unfair say that Underwood wouldn't succeed in the Big 12 but Gottlieb assuredly would because of his ties to the university.
If you are concerned about Brad Underwood's success in the Southland translating to the Big 12, should you not be more concerned with success translating to the Big 12 from a broadcast booth?