Editorial: Gundy Isn't Playing Games

Just before lunch on Thursday the college football world learned again, like it has several times over the past couple of seasons, that Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy isn't playing games any more.

Gundy has often talked about his progression as a head coach and how he is, to borrow a line from a soap commercial, so much more comfortable in his own skin.

During his early days as a head coach, the former Midwest City High School state champion and Oklahoma State record-setting quarterback would play some games with the media, and probably with some others.

However, fun time is over and Gundy has earned his general's stars in taking the Oklahoma State program to a Big 12 championship and to the brink of playing for a national championship. When you have done that, the media and fans don't question your decisions as often, and when they do, they usually end up looking bad doing it.

Thursday's decision in naming Wes Lunt the starting quarterback was one that might make a less experienced or less confident coach nervous. Lunt is 18, will turn 19 next fall about the same time the Cowboys previous quarterback turns 29, but like Brandon Weeden, Lunt can operate the offense.

He may not as good as his predecessor but the best of the three that were out there this spring. The Cowboys offense had more success with Lunt as quarterback and the two-time state champion quarterback at Rochester, Ill., also followed his high school trait of taking care of the football.

Lunt threw for 65 touchdowns his last two high school seasons and just eight interceptions. This spring he threw very few interceptions. In fact, I can only remember one during team or scrimmage work.

Gundy said the decision was as simple as reviewing the performances this spring, and that the players made the decision with their play on the field. As an observer, I would agree with that.

It still takes a coach that is confident and secure with where he is with his program and in his career to make the decision to promote a brand new freshman over two older, more experienced players.

Now how does the summer go? Lunt will need to assert himself more and he will be responsible in part for leading summer workouts. He'll have help from players like running backs Joe Randle and Jeremy Smith. Tracy Moore and Charlie Moore should help some, and you would expect offensive linemen Lane Taylor and Jonathan Rush to help leading those drills.

The hope is that J.W. Walsh and Clint Chelf will keep their grip on the rope and keep pulling the same direction. Fans will panic about rash decisions to transfer, and that could happen. But Chelf seems very happy at Oklahoma State in all phases of his life, and Walsh is very young, just a redshirt freshman and leaving would mean sitting out another year and learning a different system.

Lunt may have been named starter, but this book is in the first chapter, not at the end or even in the middle. There is plenty of story to be written.

Today, Mike Gundy made the introduction.

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