Have Mike Gundy and Chuba Hubbard really forgiven each other? Are they truly ready to move on? No question looms larger over Oklahoma State this year than this one: Will the head coach and star running back co-exist peacefully after a tumultuous off-season that the saw oft-insensitive Gundy have to apologize for wearing an OAN t-shirt?
Here’s the thing: The Cowboys figure to be favored in seven of their 10 games. Their offense has the potential to be that good, with Hubbard back after leading the nation in rushing a year ago with 2,094 yards, quarterback Spencer Sanders coming off a season (2,065 passing yards, 628 rushing) that saw him earn Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors and star WR Tylan Wallace apparently recovered from a torn ACL.
All three were injured at various stages last year (Sanders missed the final two games, Wallace the final five), so keeping them healthy is paramount.
Even the defense – never a Gundy strength -- showed considerable improvement at the end of last year’s 8-5 campaign.
But Gundy’s ability to smooth over his often-radical views with his team remains the key. After three straight 10-win seasons from 2015-17, Gundy is a combined 15-11 the past two years. That doesn’t exactly help his credibility with his current roster.
Three swing games will determine how good OSU’s year turns out to be: Iowa State, Texas and, of course, Oklahoma. The first two are at home.
We know Gundy’s a man. Now we’ll see what kind of coach he is.