Guerin: When Gundy hangs it up at OSU, networks should race to hire him

Guerin: When Gundy hangs it up at OSU, networks should race to hire him

There are two paths for Mike Gundy so natural they feel preordained – coaching OSU football and then retiring to television commentary.

Guerin Emig

By Guerin Emig

| Feb 14, 2024, 7:00am CST

Guerin Emig

By Guerin Emig

Feb 14, 2024, 7:00am CST

There are two paths for Mike Gundy so natural they feel preordained – coaching Oklahoma State football and then retiring to television commentary. 

It’s why OSU brass have put up with Gundy’s, shall we say, eccentricities the past 20 years. Only a country maverick could win 166 games in a town also known for Fowl Things and Calf Frys. 

It’s why ESPN brass should call Gundy faster than they just rang Nick Saban the day Gundy decides he’d rather do something else. The country maverick would play as well in the studio or booth as he does on the sidelines. 

There is a decent chance he’d play better.

Gundy with a headset on is a wild ride. He coaches the Cowboys into Adventureland now and then, and somehow everything works out more often than it doesn’t. 

Gundy with a microphone at his disposal is wilder. If the public first caught whiff of that in 2007, there is a much better example of much more recent vintage, a 2022 Monday-after-Bedlam press conference that could also be a 40-minute audition tape for ESPN or Fox.

Gundy opened by explaining why he dips pretzels in his yogurt, referenced sprinkling salt in his beer and backtracked to a story about the time he played safety in high school and was no match for a reserve Jenks running back.

He closed with tales from Gundy Thanksgiving dinners featuring the family member who’d mix carrots and crackers with a jello mold that “got slid over to Cousin Eddie.” 

Fan base critics grumbled that it was predetermined silliness meant to deflect from OSU’s 2-day-old loss and Gundy’s 3-15 Bedlam record at the time. Those interested in being entertained, regardless of motive, cared not one bit. 

It was funny, something college football TV commentary has the potential to be but often isn’t because guys like Fox’s Urban Meyer are still coaching against Michigan even while on the set. These guys were wired too hard when they coached, and there’s no undoing that when they pontificate, a yellow alert when it comes to Saban. 

Gundy’s wiring goes all over the place. That doesn’t always help as he manages his current job, but is bound to make for must-see TV. 

Not that he couldn’t be a straight man and give the viewers what they ultimately want – analysis. 

Rewind to when Gundy anchored the 2020 ESPN Coaches Film Room telecast of the LSU-Clemson national championship. He and Gary Patterson, his TCU buddy seated across from him, stole the show. 


Or backtrack to that ‘22 post-Bedlam presser. It was more than theater of the absurd. 

Asked about Nathan Latu’s dead-ball unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for shoving a Sooner, Gundy told reporters what he told Latu: “They’re going to snap the football again, you get a chance to fire away at him and have all the fun you want… Keep your composure and play real football. All the sideshow stuff I’m not much for.”

Asked about OU’s crossfield lateral kickoff return, Gundy said: “I hate to give anybody credit that wears that color, but the guy that’s playing that spot for us (on kick return defense) whose job is to watch that, that’s the fourth guy that’s played that spot this year. He’s new… Credit to them. That’s a smart play.”

Gundy broke down his game and TCU’s fire-drill win at Baylor that weekend, secured when the Horned Frogs ran the ball on third-and-7 with no timeouts and :22 remaining, hurried the field goal unit onto the field and kept their College Football Playoff dream alive. 


“What if he runs for 10 more yards?” Gundy wondered of TCU ball-carrier Emari Demarcado. “What if he runs 10 more yards and then Baylor lays on him?”

When someone brought up CFP committee membership, Gundy had an idea: “You know, Bob Stoops needs to do something. He’d be good on it.” 

Stoops would be good on it in college football retirement… if he weren’t too busy hosting Sellout Crowd podcasts, watching his son catch passes, coaching the Arlington Renegades and promoting tequila. 

Maybe when retirement comes for Gundy he’ll keep his plate just as full. He’d be great doing his own version of “Conversations with Coach.” He could go see his boys, coach the Houston Roughnecks or hawk the special brand of Diet Coke he sips after big wins. 

He’d be best retiring to ESPN. He’d be a more entertaining version of Saban, without the national championships but still worth 166-and-counting victories. Plenty enough to give him instant commentating credibility. 

Anyway, focus on the country maverick here and not the maverick’s resume. 

“Can’t tell the truth anymore,” Gundy said at that 2022 post-Beldam presser. “The only person that does is me in these media deals.”

That isn’t what separates Gundy from everybody else, his willingness to say it does. 

It’s a shoot-from-the-lip approach that grabs our attention every football season, one way or the other, and would keep our attention were he to replace his headset with a microphone.

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Guerin Emig is a columnist for the Sellout Crowd network. Read his work at and Reach out with feedback and/or ideas at [email protected] or (918) 629-6229. Follow him on Twitter at @GuerinEmig and Instagram at @guerin.emig. .

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