3 Biggest Questions for Oklahoma State Head Coach Mike Gundy Ahead of Big 12 Media Days

    Oklahoma State finished just short of a conference title after a 10-4 season last year. What questions will Mike Gundy face at Big 12 Media Days?

    The Oklahoma State Cowboys found their rhythm behind one of the top running backs in the country late in the year last season, finishing the year on an 8-2 run and beating the Texas A&M Aggies in the Texas Bowl. In a wide-open Big 12, Oklahoma State will look to maintain its momentum and take control in 2024.

    As the conference expands to 10 states and 16 teams, what are the burning questions facing head coach Mike Gundy ahead of the 2024 Big 12 Media Days?

    Three Most Significant Questions for Mike Gundy at Big 12 Media Days

    1) Who Will Step Up To Take Pressure Off Ollie Gordon II?

    Ollie Gordon II exploded in late September to come out of nowhere and become one of the top running backs in the country. After just 17 carries in the first three weeks of the season, Gordon had 18 carries against Iowa State in the first of six straight 120-yard performances.

    Down the stretch, Gordon racked up at least 115 yards and a touchdown in every game, including a 4-game stretch in which he had 10 touchdowns and over 1,000 yards from scrimmage.

    That’s all well and good, but Texas and UCF were able to key in on Gordon, limiting him to 59 yards on 25 carries in those losses. Simply put, if Gordon didn’t carry the Cowboys offensively, no one did.

    Mike Gundy knows his team well. There are several starters returning to Stillwater. But if none of them can step up to take the pressure off Gordon, the All-American running back will find it difficult to replicate his success from last season.

    2) How Has the Conference Changed Now That Texas and Oklahoma Are in the SEC?

    Gundy is pretty quick-witted and he’s a great interview. If asked correctly, this question could give reporters a great answer during talking season.

    Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have played 118 times since 1904, but “Bedlam” is off — for now. Traditionally, the Sooners have dominated, as Oklahoma State has never won three in a row against their rivals.

    But while Bedlam won’t be played and is a centerpoint of the focus for Cowboy fans, it isn’t the only aspect at play here. At least on paper, the Big 12 is a lot more open without Texas and Oklahoma. There’s a hole to fill at the top and the Cowboys look like one of the teams that could fill it.

    Mike Gundy might be one of the head coaches just crazy enough to say that publically.

    3) Is the Lack of Transfers on Defense By Design, and How Will That Impact the Unit in 2024?

    Oklahoma State was bad at best and atrocious at worst on defense last season, finishing 122nd in the country. However, unlike other teams that struggled in 2023, the Cowboys made few upgrades in the transfer portal.

    In fact, Gundy’s team only brought in two scholarship transfers on that side of the ball, a safety transfer from UTEP and an edge rusher from DII Gannon. Both had excellent careers at their previous stops, but the class is hardly the defensive overhaul some people expected.

    That may be by design, as consistency is becoming harder and harder to find in the sport, but if it’s clear that the unit isn’t improved early in the year, there will be some serious questions.

    Big 12 Media Days Schedule: Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State Head Coach

    • Date: Tuesday, July 9
    • Time: 4:00 p.m. ET
    • How to watch: ESPN+

    The Big 12 is expanding to add four new teams as it loses its top two traditional powers. That leaves a void to fill at the top, and Oklahoma State will look to fill that.

    The Cowboys are coming off a 10-4 season and Big 12 Championship loss as Gundy enters his 20th season as the head coach of the program. Oklahoma State has put together eight 10-win seasons in his tenure and looks poised for another potential conference championship run.

    FREE: Sign up for the College Football Network Newsletter to receive unique stories from the world of college football directly to your inbox!

    The Cowboys were relatively quiet on the transfer front, bringing in just 10 scholarship transfers. Still, they return their leading quarterback (Alan Bowman), running back (Gordon), and receiver (Brennan Pressley) from a unit that finished 30th in total offense.

    The Cowboys begin their season with a home game against FCS National Champion South Dakota State on August 31 at 2:00 p.m. EST. The following week, they host Arkansas for a noon kick-off.

    College Football Network has you covered with the latest news and analysis, rankings, transfer portal information, top 10 returning players, the 2024 college football season schedule, and much more!

    EA Sports College Football: Everything You Need For the Game’s Historic Return

    After a decade-long hiatus, EA Sports College Football has made its return to glory. The popular college football video game is here to stay, radically changing the video game landscape forever.

    Related Articles