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Why does Mike Gundy hate P5 non-conference scheduling?

Southeastern Louisiana v Oklahoma State Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images

We’ve all heard it before. Most of us have thought it before. When will Mike Gundy get with the program and schedule better?

The most popular gripe is the lack of a Power-5 school in the non-conference, followed quickly by the scheduling of FCS opponents. Our own Dustin Ragusa wrote a good post on that which you can read here.

So I decided to look into the whole “non-P5 scheduling gripe” and I was a little surprised with what I found.

Since Mike Gundy has been the head coach at Oklahoma State they have played a Power-5 school in the non-conference all but three years: his first two years in 2005 and 2006 and last year in 2015.

Here are the non-conference games for each year under Mike Gundy. Power-5 teams are in bold.

  • 2005 - Montana State, Florida Atlantic, Arkansas State - No P5 opponent
  • 2006 - Missouri State, Arkansas State, Florida Atlantic - No P5 opponent
  • 2007 - Georgia, Florida Atlantic, Troy
  • 2008 - Washington State, Houston, Missouri State
  • 2009 - Georgia, Houston, Rice
  • 2010 - Washington State, Troy, Tulsa
  • 2011 - Louisiana, Arizona, Tulsa
  • 2012 - Savannah State, Arizona, Louisiana
  • 2013 - Mississippi State, UT-San Antonio, Lamar
  • 2014 - Florida State, Missouri State, UT-San Antonio
  • 2015 - Central Michigan, Central Arkansas, UT-San Antonio - No P5 opponent

Including 2016, the Cowboys have Power-5 schools scheduled for six of the next eight years per If Boise State joins a Power-5 conference before their meeting in 2018, it will be all eight years.

As it is now, Boise State would be considered comparable to a Power-5 school anyway. So if we lumped in Boise and the Cowboys stand pat with their tentative future non-conference scheduling, Mike Gundy teams will have played a Power-5 conference team in 14 of his 17 years. And that’s with two of the three off years being his first two at the helm.

Here are the future non-conference opponents, as they sit now:

  • 2016 - Southeastern Lousiana, Central Michigan, Pittsburgh
  • 2017 - Tulsa, South Alabama, Pittsburgh
  • 2018 - Central Michigan, South Alabama, Boise State
  • 2019 - Oregon State, Tulsa, TBD
  • 2020 - Oregon State, Tulsa, South Alabama
  • 2021 - Rice, Tulsa, Boise State
  • 2022 - TBD, Arizona State, TBD
  • 2023 - TBD, Arizona State, TBD

So, I guess the answer to my question would be that we know why he would rather play weaker competition before conference play but that, whether or not it’s up to him, it hasn’t kept the Cowboys from scheduling those Power-5 games.

Let’s also remember that all Big 12 teams play that extra P5 opponent every year as a result of the round-robin schedule. Well, at least through this season.

While I’m not going to try to campaign for Oklahoma State being the most ambitious of non-conference schedulers, let’s at least set the record straight.