Name a coach who has been in more homes the past few months than Mike Gundy. Between the YouTube hits, the parodies and the national discussion, the decibels, no coach has had a bigger recruiting advantage.
What, the infamous "I'm a man, I'm 40!" rant has been beneficial?
|Mike Gundy's Cowboys are raking in the recruits following his rant. (Getty Images)|
Call it guerilla recruiting, except you would have to assume there was some sort of subversive intent to the Oklahoma State coach's infamous three-minute tirade on Sept. 22 following a win over Texas Tech.
Gundy probably didn't know it, but he did more than peel paint that day. The national reaction was one of overwhelming support -- either for the coach in defending his player or chastising the media or both. Millions of hits and four months later, Oklahoma State is cleaning up in recruiting. Coincidence?
"People that didn't know him to begin with, now do," said Rafe Watkins, football coach at Guthrie (Okla.) High School, about 25 miles from Stillwater. "YouTube, car dealerships doing mock commercials ... It kind of showed that he is standing up for his kids. As far as helping or hurting his recruiting, I don't know."
The experts do. The 2008 class is rated among the top 25 in the country by rivals.com, fourth in the Big 12. Not bad for a team that finished 7-6 and a coach who is 18-19 in three seasons at Okie State. It could end up being the best class in Stillwater since Les Miles landed rivals.com's No. 15 class in 2003.
"I talk to a lot of kids, (the outburst) never comes up, it's completely forgotten," said CSTV recruiting expert Tom Lemming.
"(Gundy) was defending his players. If it had an effect it was that the kids loved him. I think it was a positive. In the long run most kids forget that stuff anyway. Kids are all thinking: the quickest way to the NFL, facilities and girls. Oklahoma State is having a good year."
Turns out Gundy just flipped out for a moment. It does not seem to be a pattern of behavior. The media went on with their jobs. The quarterback he was defending (Bobby Reid) has since transferred to Texas Southern.
So what was the big deal? The situation might not have developed if Gundy had been more forthcoming about why Reid lost his starting job. That left it to Jenni Carlson of the Oklahoman to speculate about the situation in her column. No one cared until Gundy ranted.
This space suggested the day after the flaming that Gundy should be fired. Upon further review, maybe not. Gundy seems like a decent guy. No more tightly wound than some of his peers. He seemingly did not hold grudges against the media after that day.
Oklahoma State responded by winning three of four and won its bowl game for the second consecutive year.