November 29, 2011
As the final days of the season approach, coaches usually start politicking for their team to be in the national championship or a BCS bowl. But Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy must have missed the class on effective politicking because he's doing it all wrong.
"If somebody sat me down and said (I) had to make a decision," Gundy said, "with where we're at right now, Alabama lost to what would be the No. 1 team in the country LSU, and Oklahoma State lost to Iowa State.
"In our situation, if I was doing it fair, I don't know how I could put us in front of (Alabama) right now."
Luckily for the Cowboys, Gundy doesn't have a vote in the USA Today/Coaches Poll, one of the components of the BCS standings, but simply saying those comments could hurt Oklahoma State's chances of playing for a national title. How could one of the 59 coaches with a vote justify backing Oklahoma State for the national championship game when its own coach won't?
You have to admire Gundy's candor. His team's loss to Iowa State was downright abysmal when compared to Alabama's loss to LSU. Even though some are giving the Cowboys a pass on that game considering it was played the same day the team learned a plane crash had taken the lives of women's basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant Miranda Serna, it was still a loss unbecoming of a potential national champion.
Currently, there's a pretty big gap between No. 2 Alabama (.955) and No. 3 Oklahoma State (.871) in the BCS standings. Oklahoma State does have the advantage of playing Oklahoma in this weekend's Bedlam game and winning that would give the Cowboys their fifth win over a team in the BCS Top 25. Alabama only has two wins over the BCS Top 25. A win over Oklahoma might be enough to boost the cowboys in the coaches and Harris polls where they're ranked fifth.
However, if Oklahoma State loses to Oklahoma, this conversation is moot.
"I'm not saying that I wouldn't (politick)," Gundy said. "… if somebody made me do it, I would probably say something. I would do it uncomfortably. But I wouldn't mention it until after the game, and at that time, it may be too late.
"If we win this game and we play well, and somebody thinks that it's enough to put us in position to play for (the national title), nobody will be more fired up than I will about it and excited for our players."