Mike Gundy Rumors: Peyton Manning Called OK State Coach About Tennessee Job

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 28, 2017

FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 19:  Head coach Mike Gundy of the Oklahoma State Cowboys prepares his team to take on the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium on November 19, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

A Tennessee Volunteers legend is doing what he can to help the school find a new head football coach.

According to college football insider Brett McMurphy, Peyton Manning tried to sell Oklahoma State Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy on coming to Knoxville to replace Butch Jones.

Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman reported earlier Tuesday that Tennessee had Gundy on its list of top coaching candidates. The school also reached out to Purdue Boilermakers head coach Jeff Brohm and NC State Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren.

Using Manning's clout makes sense for Tennessee because the Vols—to borrow a basketball analogy—will need to execute a full-court press in order to get Gundy to leave his current job.

The 50-year-old is a native Oklahoman and starred at quarterback for the Cowboys from 1986 to 1989. He has also coached Oklahoma State for over a decade. Based on his success in Stillwater, it's probably fair to say he has resisted a number of overtures from FBS programs inquiring about his services.

ESPN.com's Chris Low reported Tennessee pursued Gundy in 2013.

Beyond the sentimental pull of staying at Oklahoma State, coaching Tennessee may not even be a significant upgrade for Gundy. Since 2010, he has had five 10-win seasons with the Cowboys whereas the Vols have won 10 games once during that span.

Historically speaking, Tennessee is the more prestigious program, but the Vols have stagnated significantly after the tenures of Jones and Derek Dooley. Although Gundy would be an excellent hire, the school should be prepared to look in a different direction.