There have been rumors in recent days that Oklahoma State head coach, Mike Gundy, is being considered as a replacement for interim coach, John L Smith, at Arkansas. While Gundy has refused to discuss the situation with the media, we have learned that Gundy will have discussions about the position in Fayetteville.
This is not to say that Gundy is the leading candidate, or that he is the eventual hire. It has also be reported that TCU head coach, Gary Patterson is on the program’s shortlist. But when asked about the rumors earlier in the week, Gundy did not confirm or deny interest from either himself or Arkansas. He said that he would not discuss “speculative reports or other jobs.”
Prior to becoming the head coach at OSU, Gundy was an outstanding QB for the program. He set several passing records in the old Big 8 conference. Gundy would then go on to being an assistant for OSU, Baylor, and Maryland, before gaining the head coaching duties in 2005. Up until 2008, Gundy was best known for a an outburst over a report in regards to the benching of QB Bobby Reid. That is when Gundy delivered the viral video moment of “Come after me! I’m a man! I’m forty!”. But after the 2007 season, Gundy began leading the team to some of their best seasons in years, including back-to-back seasons of 11+ wins in 2010 and 2011, capped off with a Fiesta Bowl win last January over Stanford. Many believed that OSU deserved a spot in the National Championship, but their one loss to Iowa State cost them that shot in the BCS rankings.
The question with this situation is if the move to Arkansas is more of a lateral move, or not. There is a certain cache with being a coach in the SEC, but the success of the two schools in recent years are extremely similar. It would be an interesting bidding war if things do, in fact, materialize. Sometimes these situations come down to which alum and donors step up to the proverbial plate. Who wouldn’t want to watch Jerry Jones and T. Boone Pickens try to outspend one another?