Gundy: We Have A Good Football Team

The Sunday teleconference with Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy turned to the future thanks to George Schroeder, college football writer for USA Today. It's been no secret that Gundy, like a number of other college coaches in the BCS conferences, doesn't care for the current system and is looking forward to a four-team playoff dubbed the College Football Playoff that begins next season.

On Sunday, following his team's 49-17 win over third-ranked Baylor in Boone Pickens Stadium, Gundy was quizzed about where he believes the Cowboys stack up with the one loss teams chasing top-ranked Alabama, second-ranked Florida State and third-ranked Ohio State.

Gundy didn't sugarcoat anything about the Cowboys' early season loss to West Virginia. He was very frank about the one blemish on his team's record.

"We played terrible at West Virginia," Gundy admitted. "We doinked a couple of field goals and our punting was poor and we turned the ball over. We just didn't play very good.

"That's all there is to it, but since then our team has played pretty well and our defense is consistent and we now have an offense that is worth talking about. Our return game and special teams has been very good and so we have a good football team. How good? Obviously, somebody else can make that decision, but we have a good football team."

He understands the system well enough to know that when people like ESPN College Gameday analyst David Pollack point to the West Virginia loss that he understands the perception with it.

"I think that happens across the country. When you lose early in the season to a team that you shouldn't, people move on with votes and that's just kind of the way it is," Gundy theorized. "But the good news is you get to play it out and you get a chance to bring yourself back into it.

"There are three teams up there. You've got Alabama and Florida State and Ohio State that are up there. They haven't lost any games. Certainly difficulty of schedule will factor in at some point, but that's kind of the way it falls."

Schroeder's questions became even more interesting as Gundy kept playing along with the hypothetical conversation. During his answer we were able to find out that the OSU head coach has obviously thought about this topic to the point of thinking about serving the cause someday.

"I think that whenever I get out of this (coaching), that's something that I would enjoy doing. I have a background in college football for a long, long time," Gundy said. "I think they need people on that committee who have a background in football and understanding the game and at some point that would be something I would look into."

Temporarily forgetting the BCS and looking into the future, Schroeder asked Gundy who the fourth team might be if the playoff structure were currently in place.

"I haven't, because it's a non-factor.," answered the Cowboys head coach. "But I think if we finished strong people would give us consideration. That's why ultimately I think it's a good plan, the direction they are going with the tournament, the final four (playoff) for lack of a better term."

And if Gundy were on the committee how would he suggest splitting resumes and finding who the best one-loss team is to join the playoff bracket with the three unbeatens?

"It's going to be based on strength of schedule and it is true that there are one-loss teams that are better than undefeated teams based on who they have played," Gundy explained. "So in my opinion when you get past that, then you go to did you dominate those teams or did you just barely win? I think that's the only fair way that you could make an evaluation on who deserves to be in the playoffs."

The Oklahoman's Gina Mizell asked if Saturday's 49-17 blasting of Baylor was the biggest win of his coaching career.

"I would say one of them," Gundy responded. "We beat Missouri up there when they were third in the country. The first time we beat Texas in Texas really in forever in modern football was a big win. We have had a number of them. My first year here we weren't any good and Texas Tech was 11th in the country and we beat them.

"But it certainly is up there with the rest of them. The Fiesta Bowl is a big win. The good news is we have been lucky enough to have several of them, and some of them I can't remember. But it was certainly a big win."

He was also asked if he has thought about bowl scenarios and selections. Last season his team did a free fall through the Big 12 selections and fell to the Heart of Dallas Bowl, well past where their league standing would have dictated they go bowling.

"We don't (think about it)," answered Gundy. "I think last year (the bowl selection) was a huge mistake in my opinion for the type of season our players had. But obviously somebody sent us to that bowl game and you could tell by the outcome that it didn't really fit where we should have played. But that's neither here nor there. I would like to have confidence in our league that a better decision would be made moving forward for every team in this league and not just Oklahoma State."

The bowl destination for the Cowboys will be defined and appropriate if they take care of business on Dec. 7. The Big 12 champion goes to Arizona for the Fiesta Bowl.

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