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Gundy speaks on future of Big 12, OSU

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Oklahoma St Baylor Football

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy argues with the referee in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Baylor, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in Waco, Texas. (Jerry Larson/Waco Tribune Herald, pool)

Marty Smith patrolled the west end of Boone Pickens Stadium in a pressed jacket and black and red Air Jordan's. 

Smith, who was in Stillwater to cover former Oklahoma State point guard Cade Cunningham's draft party at Eskimo Joes for ESPN, made a detour to Boone Pickens Stadium to speak with OSU coach Mike Gundy. 

Gundy and Smith had a brief interview, where Gundy made his first public comments on the news of Oklahoma and Texas looking to leave the Big 12. 

Just a day after Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby sent an assertive cease and desist order to Smith's employer, ESPN, the company had a reporter speaking with one of the eight schools who were left in the dark by OU and UT. 

Gundy said people talk about how ultimately there will be a consolidation, and instead of a Power 5, it could shrink to a Power 4. 

"In my opinion, if I was in meetings or behind closed doors would I say that that's a probability? I'd say yes," Gundy said. 

Gundy continued, saying there could be teams who want to set a level higher, and the Power 5 continues, but one entity will have a substantial influence in if it happens. Television. more specifically, ESPN. 

"They're the ones representing television dollars, and they make those decisions," Gundy said.  "I think at some point the leaders will get together and say, this is what we have, if this is what you will offer us. If not, it might be something else.

"Ultimately that's who's going to make the decisions in my opinion."

For OSU specifically, Gundy said anyone who claims to know what will happen in the future is stepping out of line. He said if the league stays intact through the end of the grant-of-rights in 2025, other conference teams could be looking to go somewhere else.

"I'm not going to get involved in that because I think business is business," Gundy said. "I know that Oklahoma State has had tremendous success, and when you look at where we we've been from the viewers standpoint over a long period of time, people like watching Oklahoma State football."

Gundy's Cowboys, who have rank No. 2 in wins this past decade in the Big 12 with a record of 58-31, have good stature if they do have to realign with a conference in the future. 

"We're a good product and I think we're very marketable," Gundy said. 

sports.ed@ocolly.com