OSU coach has had 10 straight winning seasons

NEW ORLEANS - In 11 seasons at Oklahoma State, Coach Mike Gundy has established a winning tradition in a state that includes the usually good Oklahoma Sooners. In preparation for the Sugar Bowl match with Ole Miss, Gundy has instituted more physical practices than he usually does for bowls.

For those who "reside" in the Southeastern Conference, Oklahoma State Coach Mike Gundy is best known for his "I'm a man" tirade toward a media member several yeares ago.

It was the main story in the sports news cycle for several days.

But the truth of the matter is that Gundy has put together quite the worksheet in his 11 seasons as the head man for the Cowboy program and is much more than that one outburst.

Gundy had a losing season his first year as the head guy at OSU and has not had one since, racking up 10 winning seasons in a row, which has resulted in 10 straight bowl appearances.

Gundy's high water marks were a 12-1 season in 2011 when he was named the National College Coach of the Year and the previous year when the Cowboys were 11-2 and he was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year.

This year has been another fine season for Gundy and OSU as they have put up a 10-2 record, losing only to Oklahoma, who is in the Final Four, and Baylor, both in the top ten at the time.

"We've had a really good year," said Gundy. "I have been extremely proud of this team. We have not been able to run the ball as effectively as I would have wanted, but we have found ways to get the job done in several ways."

Gundy feels the Cowboys will be ready for tomorrow's Sugar Bowl game against the Rebels.

"We have practiced well these four weeks. We have been more physical than we have been for other bowls because we know Ole Miss is a very physical team and we have to be prepared for a physical game," he continued. "We are going to be healthy and fresh and ready to go."

Both teams have excellent, explosive offenses, but Gundy said he does not know what to expect in the bowl clash.

"I've had bowls I thought were going to be defensive struggles that were 45-42 and bowls that I thought were going to be offensive explosions that were defensive battles," he stated. "All I know is that this is an important game, a game you want to do well in."

As for the Rebels. Gundy obviously has a lot of respect for his opponent.

"Ole Miss is a very talented team. When you look at what I call 15 starters on offense, 15 starters on defense and 7-8 more for special teams, you are dealing with about 40 guys who are the core of your team and when you look at Ole Miss' top 40 or so, they are as talented as anyone in the country," he continued. "Coach Freeze has recruited a very talented team. 

"The quarterback is active and competitive, Laquon Treadwell has developed into an NFL receiver as we knew he would when we recruited him, the defensive line is big and physical and the speed they have on defense is very good from side to side."

For Gundy, he feels he will need an excellent outing from his team.

"We will have to play our best to win, but it's a lot of fun to play teams from other conferences and see how you stack up. If we were to win this game, we would feel we really accomplished something to top off a very good season," he closed.

Gundy is currently 94-46 overall and 56-37 in the Big 12 in his tenure.

He'd like nothing better than to get the 95th notch on his belt against Ole Miss.

That would be, well, sweet as sugar for him.

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