Overrated or Underrated: National Perception of In-State Coaches
Sam Mayes from the mMm Ranch will be doing his “Overrated or Underrated” throughout the entire Fall to add on from the mMm Ranch’s radio segment that we all are accustomed to. He will discuss a single topic and talk who, what, and why that someone, or something, is “overrated” or “underrated”.
Overrated: Automatic Expectation That Oklahoma Will Struggle Without Bob Stoops
I’ve been hearing it since June 7th–Oklahoma will have a “letdown” season without Hall of Fame head coach Bob Stoops. These expectations are, essentially, expected. How do you replace 190 wins, nine (outright) Big 12 Titles, or even the name of Bob Stoops? It’s simple…you don’t.
However, these expectations are blind. College football is all about the athletes. The Jimmy’s and Joe’s separate a team like Alabama from a team like San Jose State. Sure, Nick Saban would be the one standing across the sideline, but if the playing field was level, why wouldn’t San Jose State have a fighting chance? Oklahoma has the guys capable of playing at the positions that are presumed “questionable”. They’ve churned NFL players and All-Americans out left and right. It’s just what that program does. They get those kind of players.
The other factor is Lincoln Riley. He is the youngest head coach in the country, and with that come some “wait-and-see” expectations. What the country does not see is that Lincoln Riley helped build this. He was the one on the sidelines to help dig Oklahoma out of a hole in 2015 at Tennessee and 2016 at TCU. Riley not only understands the expectations at Oklahoma, but he embraces them. This much has been proven with the moxie and confidence that Riley has shown to the media early in his coaching career. You can tell Riley knows just where he is at.
Bob Stoops won a bunch of games because of his “risky” calls. We don’t know who Lincoln Riley is yet as that guy to make those kind of calls. Overall, we are talking about, maybe, twelve calls a game. If people are worried if Lincoln Riley has the fortitude to win games at Oklahoma, then they are truly worried about just twelve decisions or less on the season. Unless a major injury takes a place, this team will be better than they were a year ago. Oklahoma has elite at the positions they need to be in this conference: quarterback, offensive Line, and their secondary. For that, this idea that Lincoln Riley will be unsuccessful because Bob Stoops is no longer on the sidelines is completely overrated.
Underrated: Mike Gundy Projecting His Demeanor To His Football Team
For years, it has felt like Mike Gundy has held back his real thoughts about his football team. Starting from Big 12 Media Days, this has been different. Gundy has shown confidence in his own program about being at the top of college football. The Mullet has done everything right this offseason to put himself in front of social media and keeping Oklahoma State relevant the entire offseason.
This is a unique position for not just Oklahoma State, but their head football coach as well. Gundy returns arguably the top offensive unit in the entire country. Not many times can a coach sit back and say that with 100% confidence. Mason Rudolph and James Washington have the capability to end up in New York City for the Heisman Ceremony. Oklahoma State’s offensive line unit is returning a group that was vastly underapreciated from a year ago, and that Justice Hill guy is not too shabby either.
The point being: Mike Gundy needed to swing for this. Gundy needed to step in the box and take as big of a swing as possible…only because he can. This is the first time Oklahoma State has been in THIS kind of spotlight to where they are picked regularly to either win the Big 12 or make the College Football Playoff. The passive-aggressiveness he has shown these last few years has cost him games and respect nationally. That is why this overall attitude change could not have come at a better time.
Ultimately, this change is null unless Gundy is able to project this new demeanor to his team. This is why Oklahoma State is not only saying the right things, but they are radiating it as well. A different Mike Gundy needed to be seen with these new lofted expectations, and that is what we have seen so far. Not only is this new shift of attitude underrated, but his ability to project this to his team and fanbase is completely underrated.