NCF Nation: Bobby Reid
On Monday, a school spokesman confirmed to ESPN that Reid was joining Gundy's staff.
Nope, it doesn't quite make sense, but Reid joining Gundy's program in an administrative role is one of the most intriguing developments of the Big 12 offseason.
Reid started 18 games as a freshman and sophomore at OSU. However, he was better known for what occurred his junior year in 2007 after Gundy's news conference rant against an Oklahoma City columnist, who depicted Reid in an unflattering -- and Gundy claimed unfair and inaccurate -- manner. The video of Gundy's reaction went viral.
"I'm not a kid," Gundy said on Sept. 22, 2007, defending Reid. "Write something about me, or our coaches. Don't write about a kid that does everything right, [whose] heart's broken and then say that the coaches said he was scared. That ain't true!"
Reid's hard feelings expressed in an interview after he'd transferred to Texas Southern seem to have subsided, and the relationship between the two presumably repaired. Reid had most recently been playing arena football in Oklahoma, but it's good to see him land in a good spot and two parties who could have drifted apart for the rest of their lives come together.
Good for both of them, but hearing from the pair on how this came about and where their relationship stands will be really interesting.
- 1. Vince Young's game-winning touchdown in the 2006 Rose Bowl: Anyone who was there or saw it will never forget Young's 8-yard touchdown run with 19 seconds left that led Texas to a 41-38 triumph over USC and the 2005 national championship.
- 2. Michael Crabtree's last-second grab stuns Texas: Crabtree's game-winning 28-yard catch with one second left did more than merely wrap up the biggest victory in Texas Tech history, a 39-33 win over Texas. It heralded a national coming-out party for Crabtree and the rest of the Tech program, setting the stage for the wild three-way South Division tie in 2008.
- 3. Superman's leap: Roy Williams' dramatic blitz forced Chris Simms to throw an interception to Teddy Lehman, who returned it for the game-winning touchdown in Oklahoma's 14-3 triumph over Texas in 2001.
- 4. Torrance Marshall's theft saves the season: Texas A&M was driving, but Marshall's 41-yard fourth-quarter interception return provided a game-winning touchdown and a 35-31 triumph over the Aggies at Kyle Field. The big play preserved Oklahoma's victory in the Sooners' toughest challenge en route to the 2000 national championship.
- 5. Eric Crouch's catch cements Heisman bid, beats Oklahoma: Crouch's 63-yard TD reception on a throwback pass from freshman receiver Mike Stuntz was Crouch's signature moment on his path to the 2001 Heisman Trophy and sparked a 20-10 triumph over Oklahoma.
- 6. Darren Sproles sparks Kansas State's stunning 2003 Big 12 title game upset: Darren Sproles rushed for 235 yards -- the most gained against an Oklahoma defense ever to that point -- and Ell Roberson added four touchdown passes to help Kansas State claim its first Big 12 title in a 35-7 upset over No. 1 Oklahoma.
- 7. Hunter Lawrence's kick pushes Texas into national title game: Despite a sputtering performance by Colt McCoy that included nine sacks and three interceptions, Texas held on for a 13-12 victory over Nebraska in the 2009 title game on a 46-yard field goal by Hunter Lawrence on the final play of the game. Lawrence's game-winning kick came only after McCoy nearly squandered the opportunity by throwing the ball out of bounds on the previous play as the clock originally appeared to have expired. Officials put time back on the clock, setting the stage for Lawrence's heroics.
- 8. Chris Brown gashes the Cornhuskers: Colorado running back Chris Brown ripped Nebraska for 198 yards and six touchdowns, boosting the Buffaloes to a wild 62-36 victory over Nebraska that snapped a nine-game losing streak against the Cornhuskers. Brown's big game sent the Buffaloes to the 2001 Big 12 title game, which they won the following week against Texas.
- 9. Postgame clash of the titans: Oklahoma State's 49-45 victory over Texas Tech in 2007 produced one of the most memorable games in Big 12 history. The teams compiled 94 points, 62 first downs and 1,328 yards. But all of the action on the field was upstaged in a wild postgame battle of soundbites when Mike Leach questioned the toughness of his defense and Mike Gundy berated an Oklahoma City columnist who he felt had unfairly portrayed quarterback Bobby Reid.
- 10. Kyle Field's nod to patriotism: Texas A&M's 21-7 victory over Oklahoma State wasn't what was so memorable. It was that the Aggies fans decked out Kyle Field in red, white and blue in the first game after the 9/11 attacks on the country in 2001. Thousands of fans transformed the old stadium into a patriotic rainbow in a memory that endures to this day.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
STILLWATER, Okla. -- After four years as head coach at Oklahoma State, coach Mike Gundy is pleased with what he's seen.
After Oklahoma State's 9-4 season in 2008, the team finished the season ranked 16th in the AP poll after the bowls. It represented the first time the Cowboys finished the season ranked since 1997 and their highest overall finish since 1988 -- when Gundy was the team's starting quarterback and Barry Sanders won the Heisman Trophy.
|Paul Jasienski/Getty Images|
|Mike Gundy is proud of OSU's success, but is wary of trying to build the program too quickly.|
The Cowboys are poised to continue that success during the upcoming season with most of their primary weapons coming back. But Gundy said that one of his biggest quests will be to keep from building the program too quickly.
"We finished in the top 16 last season and we hadn't done that in 20 years," Gundy said. "There's a lot of excitement around here. We've worked hard. We just have to keep pushing and be patient and try not to do too much."
Gundy said the Cowboys still need to build across-the-board depth that will enable his team to challenge the nation's powers. It's been something he's been aiming for since taking over the job.
Now, the Cowboys are less reliant on quick fixes from junior college players when they recruit.
"You can't build a Division I program at a school like this overnight," Gundy said. "You have to be patient and do things the right way. We're now getting the talent where we can lessen our junior-college offers and continue to get high school players and develop when they get there.
"We have to stay with the system, stay the course and keep moving."
Oklahoma State's recent success has helped them pick up their national recruiting. In their most recruiting class, the Cowboys attracted 16 of their 23 players from out-of-state. Included in the list were three players from Georgia and one from Indiana. Both of those areas had never been heavily recruited by Oklahoma State in the past.
"We were on television more so people saw us. And we also had coaches who had ties in those area and were able to get those players," Gundy said. "The kid from Indiana (linebacker Jordan Barnes) saw us on television and wanted to check us out after we played Missouri."
That buzz has helped Gundy and his assistants sell Oklahoma State. And with new facilities and an expanded stadium opening, the future looks bright for his program.
"It's an exciting game and that helps our ticket sales," Gundy said. "It also helps our confidence because these are just kids and they see something and want to be a part of a program that's fun and exciting."
Gundy also told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that his infamous 2007 rant when he defended quarterback Bobby Reid has seemed to help his recruiting -- particularly in areas outside the Cowboys' normal areas of Oklahoma and Texas.
"No, I didn't expect it, in any way, shape, form or fashion," Gundy told the Journal-Constitution. "It's interesting since that day, which happened on impulse in my opinion, to protect and take care of one of our players, I didn't have any idea that it would take off like this. From that point on, for good or bad, I've become very recognizable across the country."
That has also resulted in the expansion of the Oklahoma State "brand" and made the school more nationally recognizable, Gundy said.
"In turn, what has happened in the last couple of years in recruiting, it has helped us tremendously," Gundy said. "I think the parents of these young men understand that 'If my son goes to play at Oklahoma State, the coach is going to do whatever he can to take care of him.'
"No, we didn't know that [recruiting benefits] would happen. But it certainly has been a huge impact. It's name recognition. Moms and dads want to know wherever their son goes to school, that those coaches are going to take care of them. And when they go to Oklahoma State. They know that's going to happen."
While Gundy sees the positives in his infamous rant, it's also interesting to remember what Reid had to say several months later after transferring away from the school for Texas Southern, where he finished his college football career.
Reid told ESPN the Magazine that Gundy's rant "basically ended my life."
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini can hardly tell this is the Big 12 since his return after being away at the LSU since 2005. The proliferation of spread offenses has resulted in a record-setting binge on offensive numbers across the conference.Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle gleaned that all Big 12 teams except Texas have set single-season passing records since 2002 -- including Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas and Kansas State last season.
"I think it's not just the Big 12, but college football in general," Pelini said. "You see all the spread offenses that are happening. It's gone from option football to zone read and spreading the field with fast break-type offenses."
Here are a couple of other numbers that Duarte developed to prove that point. In the conference's inaugural season in 1996, Colorado's Koy Detmer passed for a league-high 3,156 yards. That total would have been good for sixth in Big 12 passing last year as the number was eclipsed by five quarterbacks a year ago -- Texas Tech's Graham Harrell, Missouri's Chase Daniel, Kansas' Todd Reesing, Kansas State's Josh Freeman and Texas' Colt McCoy.
But most worrisome for Pelini is this: His leaky secondary will be playing all of them except McCoy this season.
Top of the mornin' from Kansas City, where we'll have one more day of hype about the upcoming season. Until then, here are some morning links tastier than any baby backs you might find at Arthur Bryant's legendary pits.
- The Daily Oklahoman's Scott Wright profiles Oklahoma State quarterback Zac Robinson, one of only two quarterbacks last season who rushed for more than 800 yards and passed for more than 2,800 yards last season. The other? Florida's Tim Tebow.
My take -- Robinson might be one of the most underrated players in the nation.
- Oklahoma State megabooster T. Boone Pickens pitches a plan to the U.S. Senate he hopes will lessen America's dependence on foreign oil.
My take -- With $4 dollar a gallon gasoline prices, Pickens is finding it's a lot easier to get on the front page these days than when he was merely writing checks for buildings at his old school.
- Jimmy Burch of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that season-ticket demand at Texas Tech has already exceeded last season. The Red Raiders have sold 27,085 in 2008, compared to 27,027 last year.
My take -- Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree help make the Tech football program about as recession-proof an economic commodity in West Texas as can be found.
- Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy arrived at the Big 12 media days basking in the glow of his Internet notoriety, Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News writes. Gundy said that he's not concerned, even after Reid complained in an ESPN.com story that his celebrated rant "basically ended [his] life" before he transferred to Texas Southern. "I don't have any problems sleeping at night," Gundy told Finger.
My take -- Nobody will be happier than Gundy to start the 2008 season. At least then, most of the attention will be focused on the results on the field rather than what happened last season.
- Jeffrey Martin of the Kansas City Star/Wichita Eagle examines the pressures surrounding Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman, who will be attempting to better his school-record passing totals of last season without record-breaking receiver Jordy Nelson. "It's his time," KSU coach Ron Prince told Martin about Freeman. "It's his team."
My take -- Hard to believe that Freeman isn't mentioned in the same breath as some of the other top Big 12 quarterbacks -- particularly considering he was as highly recruited as any of them coming into college football.
- Colorado coach Dan Hawkins said that he might consider using heralded freshman running back Darrell Scott as a punter in some situations.
My take -- If Scott gets banged up punting, Colorado fans will think that Hawkins is nuttier than when he made his legendary "This is Big 12 football, it ain't intramurals" declaration.
- Hawk Digest has a list of 14 wishes for Kansas football this season.
My take -- If the Jayhawks accomplish half of them, Mark Mangino might be cashing in on another contract extension.
- Thayer Evans of the New York Times follows "The George Hypolite Show."
My take -- Hypolite -- by far -- is the early leader in the clubhouse as the Big 12's quote machine for this season.