If you’ve been anywhere near college football on social media for the past few days, you’ve seen the train-wreck currently happening at Tennessee. New athletic director John Currie (formerly of Kansas State) had a coach picked on Sunday, and was ready to announce Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano as the newest head coach at Tennessee that night. However, Tennessee fans responded with an unprecedented amount of backlash, and ultimately the deal fell through.
Tennessee has been in full on panic mode the past few days after this, expressing interest in David Cutcliffe, Dave Clawson and Mike Norvell among others, all of whom turned the Vols down. However, according to a report from Jimmy Hyams of WNML, Tennessee has found anew leading candidate: Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy.
With Duke's David Cutcliffe and Iowa State's Matt Campbell out of the picture, Tennessee has turned its coaching search focus to Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy. Three sources told me UT has interviewed Gundy, perhaps in Dallas. UT offered Gundy in 2012 but he said declined.
— Jimmy Hyams (@JimmyHyams) November 28, 2017
This news comes on the heels of Gundy turning down the Florida job (now filled by Dan Mullen), and honestly comes as a huge surprise. The leading idea at this point is that Gundy is just using this as leverage to improve his contract in Stillwater, but this is the second time Gundy has taken an interview with Tennessee (turned them down in 2012 after an interview).
However, according to Cowboy football sideline reporter Robert Allen, this news is serious, and Gundy could legitimately be considering leaving Stillwater for Knoxville. Tennessee has reportedly offered Gundy twice the salary he currently makes ($4.2 million), and that kind of offer would be difficult, though not impossible for Oklahoma State to match. Gundy has a buyout of $13.8 million, a hefty fee that may ultimately prevent this from actually happening.
Gundy has put up an impressive 113-53 record in his 13 years as head coach, and has taken the Cowboys to a bowl game for 12 straight seasons. He also played his college football in Stillwater as a quarterback, and was thought of as being essentially untouchable, with hopes to eventually retire at Oklahoma State.
LandGrant Gauntlet will have more on this breaking news story as it develops, at LandGrantGauntlet.com, and on Twitter, at @the_LGG and at @TheOVPod.