OKLAHOMA ST. COACH, 44-YEAR-OLD MAN
Gundy, who once told the press "I'm a man, I'm 40!" so they would criticize him and not a player has his Cowboys at 10--0 and No. 2 in the latest BCS poll.
DAN PATRICK:Are you surprised at your success this season?
MIKE GUNDY: I'm not sure I would have imagined seven years ago, when I got this job, that at this point we would be in the national picture. I didn't think we couldn't. I was just more concerned about moving in the right direction and getting some good players in here. But the last few years we've had some guys who've won a lot of football games. They expect to win.
DP:Do you expect to be in the national title game?
MG: Yes. I think our team is playing at a high level, and I don't believe in thinking any other way. At this point we have as good a chance as anybody.
DP:Where do you rank Justin Blackmon among the receivers you've had?
MG: I think when he finishes his career, he'll be the best one to ever come through here. We've had some great ones—Rashaun Woods, Hart Lee Dykes and obviously Dez Bryant. Justin just has the complete package. He's very intelligent, very competitive, a great practice player; he's got great body control, really good hands, and he can play multiple positions.
DP:Do you talk to your brother Cale, even though he's the running backs coach at Oklahoma?
BS: Not much during the season.
I don't really talk to anybody.
DP:You guys have some interesting combinations [48 possible] to choose from for your uniforms. Who picks them week in and week out?
MG: We allowed three or four of our seniors to make all the decisions in August. The last thing I wanted was someone asking in a meeting what uniforms we were wearing that week.
DP:I like the gray helmets.
MG: I like all of it. I'm a pretty traditional guy, but we've had so many different uniforms over the last 20 years, I said, What the heck. The players love the black and dull gray. I'm in the market for a dull orange helmet if they can do that next.
DP:Did your famous 2007 postgame tirade help or hurt you with recruiting?
MG: It helped us a lot. When I'm on the road recruiting, I'll go into a home and there will be somebody in the house who will bring that up and say they appreciate that. Parents want their sons to go to a school where the coach is going to stand up and fight for them, no matter what. The intentions weren't that, but it certainly panned out that way.
DP:You were saying, If you want to take a shot, take a shot at me, not an 18-year-old.
MG: I have three sons of my own. You hurt for your own children. I felt that this young man was nine hours from home. It wasn't justified that he was treated like a professional athlete. Somebody had to say, That's not right. What I meant was, Come after a coach. We get it all the time. I get it at the grocery store. I get it at Little League games. I get it from my wife when I get home. What's the difference? I didn't mean to use my age, even though it's [made me] a YouTube superstar.
"I haven't been paying attention because it's not really my business. I come to play. When you ain't got no job, you've got to find something else to do. So I've been trying to find other things to do."
—Lakers forward Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest) on the NBA lockout
Tony Stewart has a chance to become the first driver other than Jimmie Johnson to win the Sprint Cup since 2005. I asked Stewart if Johnson's title run was bad for the sport. "How do you say it's bad when a guy's doing what he's supposed to do?" Stewart said. "He's been awesome." ... North Carolina's Roy Williams coached high school golf for five years and wishes his hoopsters had that kind of concentration. "Tyler Hansbrough and Harrison Barnes have great focus," Williams said. "Some other guys, there's no telling what they're thinking when they're shooting a free throw."... Kellen Moore admits he doesn't fit the mold for NFL QB, but the Boise State star still believes he can play in the pros. "You've got to give it a shot," Moore said. "I think I'm capable of it."... Bills RB Fred Jackson has had a breakout season, but he's upset his wife didn't take him until the fifth round in her fantasy draft: "If she was in some kind of draft and I waited until the fifth round to take her, I would never hear the end of it."
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II/1DEUCE3 PHOTOGRAPHY (PATRICK)
GREG NELSON (GUNDY)
DAVID BERGMAN (JACKSON)
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (WILLIAMS)
LARRY PAPKE/AP (STEWART)