The Oklahoma State football season is officially over, and now that we’ve had about a week to full digest the Cowboys Liberty Bowl win and 7-6 season, it seemed like a good time to get everyone together to get their takes on a wacky 2018.
We also discuss who we’d like to see as Oklahoma State’s new offensive coordinator and look ahead to 2019 a bit.
While the Cowboys finished the season with a victory, it was still disappointing for most fans. How would you grade the job Coach Gundy did in 2018?
Micah Allen: “I’m gonna say C- but this season is hard to put a grade on a season that was as insane as this one was. “
Brodie Smith: “Gotta give the guy credit for keeping the ship moving despite the tumultuous waters he had to navigate. There were things I’m sure he’d do/say differently given the chance, but it could’ve turned out much much worse for him and the program. I’d give him a B and add a + for the entertainment value he offered.”
Joel Penfield: “I would go with a C+. This season had some big victories, and some major duds. The wild inconsistency is why I’d grade so low.”
Matt Harris: “Gundy grades out as a C+ for 2018 in my opinion. Blowout losses to Texas Tech and Kansas State were inexplicable and TCU was another bad loss. But beating four top-25 teams and winning your bowl game counts for something, especially in a year that was supposed to be a down year (which it was). Gundy loses more points for another mediocre-at-best recruiting effort.”
Ryan Harris: “Gundy did well. It wasn’t a special season, but it was the kind of season a head coach can build on. Next season will truly tell us how successful this season was. In my eyes, this was always a building season that was focused on the next three years. We’ll see if giving Spencer Sanders a year to develop pays off, or if Gundy goes with Dru Brown to start the season.”
Ending the season on a high-note is always nice. How are you feeling about the 2019 season after the bowl win?
MA: “Actually, I feel much better. They played a great game and were able to pull out the win. The fact that we return guys like Green next year has me really excited for 2019.”
BS: “The bowl win did nothing for me outside of demonstrating what Chuba Hubbard could look like as the feature back after a full off-season of preparation.”
JP: “That game was a microcosm of the whole year, some moments of brilliance and some moments that made us scratch our head. What I can hang my hat on from that game was the game-saving tackle by Kolby Peel. The development of the young secondary is what I am excited about for 2019.”
MH: “I would say I’m optimistic. The Pokes got beat on the final play of the game against Baylor, came within one-point of beating OU, and lost a pretty much meaningless game to TCU by a touchdown. This team felt like a disaster but was also closer to 10 wins than we maybe realize. This team had four top-25 wins over Boise State, Texas, West Virginia and Missouri. Its a team that has shown that it is capable of hanging with and even beating some of the top talent. Replacing the quarterback for the second year in a row along with the entire defensive line won’t be easy, but I have reason to believe that the 2019 team could win eight or nine games.”
RH: “Optimistic, but not too optimistic. This team had a lot of questions heading into the season, and not all of those questions were answered. The 2019 team will have just as many questions. The defensive line will be key in the success on defense, as the secondary will be experienced and should lead the defense. Either Dru Brown or Spencer Sanders will inherit a special core group of skill position players, but the offensive line will have to improve on their performance this season to really make a difference.”
Brandon Cain: “About the same. A third straight bowl victory and fourth in the last five years is a lot better than most teams in the Big 12 can say. It’s always good to ride into the offseason with a bowl victory.”
Speaking of next season, which Cowboy football player are you most looking forward to seeing in 2019?
MA: “I’m excited for two players actually. Is that allowed? I’m the site manager and what I say goes so I’m gonna say two. Kolby Peel and Jarrick Bernard. I’m excited those two guys will be back next year after getting playing time as freshmen. They’re gonna be even better next year and it’ll be fun to see how much they grow.”
BS: “The Chuba Ascension should continue to dazzle. Hey, the guy saw his strongest competition choose the NFL and seek a transfer. That’s how good the Canadian might be as the main carrier.”
MH: “The obvious answer here is Spencer Sanders or Dru Brown, but that’s what we’re all thinking. I’ll go with one that most others probably wouldn’t think of: linebacker Blake Barron. There is no guarantee that he even sees the field much after sitting out with a knee injury for his entire freshman season. Barron was one of the recruits from the class of 2018 that I was most excited about. I was also intrigued about the defensive backs from that class but we got to see a good amount of them last year. “
RH: “Obviously whoever starts at quarterback. As a Texas (DFW) native and someone who has watched Spencer Sanders play since his Sophomore year in high school, I have to say I’m pulling for Sanders to win the job. Aside from that, I’m really looking forward to seeing who comes in and makes an immediate impact on the defensive line. I’m intrigued to see if the offensive and defensive lines improve their play. Their success next season will be just as important as the success of either Sanders or Brown at quarterback.”
BC: “Going off the board with Jake McClure, who is expected to take over the starting punting/holding duties with Zach Sinor graduating. Punters are people too.”
Oklahoma State is on the market for a new offensive coordinator. Who do you want to replace Mike Yurcich as OC?
MA: “I think Josh Henson makes the most sense. He’s a great recruiter and he checks all of Gundy’s boxes. He’s a former OSU guy and someone that will more than likely be here for a long time.”
BS: “I have no clue who I want, and probably won’t be surprised by any selection, but it sure would be fun to see and hear Todd Monken in Stillwater.”
JP: “I’d love to see Todd Monken come back, that offense would be amazing.”
MH: “I’m torn with this one. It would be great to bring in former coaches Todd Monken or Marcus Arroyo, but I think both of those guys aren’t quite as realistic as some other options that are on the table. Arroyo is happy at Oregon (who just secured the top recruit in the nation by the way) and Monken could get more NFL looks. I think the ideal route is looking back to the ranks of the lower divisions where Yurcich came from. However, I do think that Gundy should at least put in calls to Monken and Arroyo, especially Arroyo. His recruiting at OSU was invaluable, something that has fallen off since his departure.”
RH: “I wouldn’t mind if they hired internally, in which case Josh Henson would likely get the job. I would rather see a hire outside of the program though. I’d love to see Gundy bring back Marcus Arroyo, who left OSU for Oregon a few years back. I also wouldn’t mind if they took a look at Graham Harrell from North Texas. He’s been a big part of the Mean Green’s recent success and has the potential to be a great coach at a higher level. Harrell played quarterback at Texas Tech and is the son of Texas High School Football coaching legend Sam Harrell.”
BC: “Graham Harrell. The former Texas Tech quarterback guided North Texas to 24th and 20th in the nation in total offense the past two seasons. At age 33, he would bring some youth to the coaching staff too.”
Let’s wrap this up on a high note. What was your favorite moment from the 2018 season?
MA: “Beating Texas. I was in Austin with my Longhorn older brother and watching all the sad Longhorns was a treat. Winning homecoming is always fun and watching the fans rush the field was a thrill.”
BS: “I didn’t get to see most of the WVU game but listening to it on the radio was just as phenomenal. My favorite moment was Tylan Wallace’s epic TD in which he went into his defender and lept into the end zone with the guy on his back. I still watch that highlight regularly.”
JP: “Tylan Wallace dragging that West Virginia corner five yards into the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown. That game is still incredible to me and that play was something I’ll never forget.”
MH: “My favorite moment from 2018 has to be beating Texas on homecoming. One of my best friends goes to Texas and I told her that anything was possible on homecoming at OSU and she mocked me. So naturally, OSU pulled out a dub. Beating a top 10 team as an unranked squad after getting WAXED by a totally unimpressive Kansas State team is the epitome of homecoming at Oklahoma State. The atmosphere of the entire weekend is one that is entirely unique to OSU. Homecoming is different in Stillwater and is always one of the best weekends of the year. Upsetting Texas only felt right.”
RH: “My favorite moment of the season was beating Texas on homecoming. If that entire weekend isn’t what Oklahoma State University and “Orange Power” is all about, then I don’t know what is. I grew up a Texas fan because my family were all Texas fans, so it was sweet to end their winning streak with my family in town to watch the game. The most bittersweet moment was watching Justice Hill play at Boone Pickens Stadium for the final time, although I look forward to watching him on Sundays.”
BC: “OSU beating No. 7 West Virginia in Stillwater for the Cowboys’ second victory over a top 10 team.”