The Pros and Cons of Tennessee Hiring Mike Gundy as New Football Coach

Randy ChambersAnalyst IDecember 3, 2012

WACO, TX - DECEMBER 1: Head coach Mike Gundy of the Oklahoma State University Cowboys looks on against the Baylor University Bears on December 1, 2012 at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
Cooper Neill/Getty Images

As Tennessee continues to search for a new head coach, Mike Gundy's name has recently popped up in the rumor mill. Reports indicate that the current Oklahoma State head coach has already interviewed for the job and could possibly be the next guy to coach the Volunteers.

Recently it was Butch Davis that was the favorite to takeover in Knoxville, now attention has quickly turned to Gundy.

Will Gundy actually leave his Alma Matter and the school he helped turn into a contender for Tennessee?

Well, if he does plan on leaving the Cowboys, this is what he would bring to the Volunteers and its program.




Not counting this season, Tennessee has usually been at the bottom of the barrel or middle of the road in the SEC when discussing total offensive production the last few years. Gundy could change all of that, as he is an offensive-minded coach that has had a great deal of success over the years on that side of the ball.

He began his coaching career back in 1990 as a wide receivers coach, and since 2008 he has coached three Biletnikoff Award finalists, which is handed out to the best wide receiver in the country. His teams have led the Big 12 in scoring offense the last three seasons, averaging well over 40 points per game. He runs a pass-oriented Air Raid offense that would add some excitement to this program and help light up the scoreboard.

The high-flying attack would also help put fans in the seats and make the Volunteers relevant again, as excitement brings in attention.

Gundy's offensive track record would also be attractive to top recruits that want to play in a spread offense that gives them chances to make big plays. Since 2010, according to, Oklahoma State has had a Top 25 recruiting class every season. This includes many talented offensive players that are looking for a chance to get the most out of their talent.

Simply put, Gundy is an offensive genius that would succeed with SEC talent at his disposal. From an offensive stand point, this is a coach that should be up there with guys such as Urban Meyer, Mike Leach and Rich Rodriguez.

Not to mention, Gundy has had many assistant coaches that have gone on to become head coaches, such as Dana Holgorsen and Larry Fedora.




Some would consider his rant a few years ago to be controversial; others would call it sticking up for his players. Either way, the distraction is something that most programs would tend to avoid at all costs.

Regardless of that one incident, Gundy hasn't exactly had many teams that have played tremendous defense. This season, his team allowed 426 yards a game, which would have ranked behind every team in the SEC besides Tennessee. Other units under Gundy have allowed over 450 and 440 total yards a game on average.

Due to his offenses high-tempo and scoring quicker than usual, the defense isn't given much time to rest, which results in more big plays than you would like. If we have learned anything in the SEC, it is that defense dominates and Gundy isn't known for producing many stops on that side of the ball.

Tennessee had a defense that was ranked 112th in the country this year and we all know how that turned out. If Gundy isn't able to produce a solid defensive team and find a balance in the SEC, wins will be hard to come by for the Volunteers once again.

Would the fireworks on offense really be worth it?