Much of the talk today about Oklahoma State on the first day of the Big 12 Media Days for football centered not on a Cowboy offensive line and running game that needs to be improved from last season's 10-3 campaign, or about quarterback Mason Rudolph and standout wide receiver James Washington, or a defense loaded with veteran and young talent that could be better than the Ogbah and Bean unit from this season.
The talk was about head coach Mike Gundy's summer hair, a vacation returned hairdo, perhaps inspired by youngest son Gage, a throwback for Gundy to his playing days with a mild mullet.
The hair got a lot of the talk but the questions weren't asked about his conditioner or what gel he had in his hair. The questions had to do with the run game and the first on newly arrived running back and son of Oklahoma State all-time great Heisman Trophy winner and Gundy teammate, Barry Sanders. Barry J. Sanders has been in town and working out with his senior season team for almost a month now.
"I haven't been around Junior much. He finish up at Stanford in the middle of June," Gundy said. "He come in and has been with us for a few weeks now. Took him a week before he could pass all of his physicals and take care of everything he need to do before he could start working out.
"At that time, we were in camp and I've been gone some. So I know that he's a college graduate. I know that he's mature. That he's dependable, seems to be durable. He came from a winning program and from an offense that obviously runs the football. So we're excited about him being a part of our team. We hope that he will make a contribution that will help us be a better running football team. But his personality, his attitude has been really good up to this point from the people inside the program that keep me up with what's going on. I'm excited about getting out there with him in August and seeing just what he can do for our football team."
Gundy also was asked to address the offensive line several times.
"It's no question that it's very important for us to keep Mason (Rudolph) healthy with the way that transfers are set up in college football now. Unfortunately, this is going to be a very important of most team's success," Gundy added. "Because if you have two good ones a lot of times one is not going to stay any more. So we need to do the very best we can to protect Mason.
"With our offensive line, we've got seven guys that I had mentioned after spring ball, and I know you guys are familiar with them, that we feel like have to rotate through and give us the best opportunity for success. They were a good pass protecting team last year. It was one of the most unusual times for me as an offensive coach or head coach to be around a group that were really good pass protectors and we weren't very good at run blocking. The combination of a lot of different things. Hopefully we will improve in both areas, and if we can protect for Mason I'm fairly comfortable with our wide receiver play that we should be able to move the ball throwing it through the air."
One thing is definite as Gundy always stresses to his players at the end of spring and in the summer before the coaches get out of town for vacations that the best teams with the best seasons more often than not have distraction-free summers. The Cowboys have followed their head coach's advice and had a hard working but a quiet summer.