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Gundy: Taking risks, moving past the 'rant'

12/28/2011

Colleague Ivan Maisel checked in with Oklahoma State before its Fiesta Bowl date with Stanford, telling the story of Mike Gundy's growth since the infamous rant that earned him YouTube fame.

He's since shed that gimmick and collected a national coaching award, a Big 12 title and BCS bid this year.

That run has included him bucking traditional coaching ideals, and Maisel includes this little tidbit:

The more he has trusted his gut, the more that he refused to heed the Coaching 101 textbook of conventional wisdom, the more games the Cowboys have won. Beginning in 2008, Gundy has gone 40-11 (.784). Over that same time, the coach on the other side of the Bedlam rivalry is 41-12 (.773).

That's right, Mike Gundy is toe-to-toe with Bob Stoops. Actually, Gundy got in the last good lick. That 44-10 defeat of the Sooners to finish the regular season earned Oklahoma State its first Big 12 championship.

Wow. Don't forget, that 2008 season included a run to the national championship game for Stoops, and a team in 2011 that was good enough to make it there.

Gundy remembered what T. Boone Pickens, the billionaire godfather of Oklahoma State athletics, told him when he got hired: (1) take risks, and (2) be unpredictable. So he began to ask questions. Why did Oklahoma State get to the end of the season with more players in the training room than on the field? Why did certain coaching hires click and others not? Gundy asked questions and he didn't go to the Coaching 101 textbook for his answers.

Maisel fills you in on what Gundy has done to precipitate OSU's rise in the past few years.