I talked with Carson Cunningham about this on our podcast (listen at 5:55 below) — I think of all the Big 12 teams Mike Gundy could choose to model his program after, Kansas State would be the one he would pick. Or the one he has picked.Think about it with me here.What does Mike Gundy preach over and over and over again in countless press conferences and radio hits and on-field interviews?Protect the ballHave sounds special teamsRun it over and over againThat sounds like a poster Bill Snyder has hanging in his office. Which are the top two teams in turnover margin in the Big 12? You guessed it.What have been the biggest post-Dana, post-Monken complaints about Gundy?He’s gone too conservativeNo he’s REALLY too conservative against OUThere are innumerable rumors about Gundy’s relationships with various offensive coordinators over the last decade at Oklahoma State, but the prevailing narrative is how much he hates risk. I believe this, too. Think about it. Gundy is a CEO. What is a CEO’s job? Mitigate risk. Get everybody on the same page. Don’t take too many chances.Heck, he said this on Monday when talking about recruiting two-year (Juco) players.“We’ve not brought as many in as we had years ago,” said Gundy. “I think we’ve done a pretty good job of evaluating them, their character, and how they will fit into our program – whether they’ll make that adjustment with the structure we have.“It’s a little bit of a risky business just based on our system and how we are with accountability and our structure. We don’t vary much here.”There you go.Here’s more of Gundy going so conservative it makes Ted Cruz look like a raging liberal. This time he was talking about Kansas State coach Bill Snyder’s decision to not go for it on fourth down late in the game last week.“I do not have any grounds to doubt something that Coach [Bill] Snyder would do,” said Gundy. “I mean obviously he knows more about his team than I do. Traditionally, for years, he has played percentages. He is somewhat of a genius when it comes to that and I am guessing in his world that is what he thought was best.”A genius when it comes to percentages!Do you see what’s happening here. Gundy has brought in an offensive coordinator he has more control over, preaches ball security and tempo control and is uncomfortable with throwing the deep ball as often as OSU has in recent years (something he said a few weeks ago).Here’s the thing: All of this works.Usually.It works because when you have more talent than other teams and you protect the ball and don’t take chances, more often than not you’re going to win. You almost always beat the Iowa States and Kansas States and Texas Techs of the world. Or Gundy has anyway.He’s recruited at a top four level in the Big 12 and has been a top four Big 12 team traditionally. Where the model breaks down is against OU. Or against Baylor in recent years Against teams with far more talent. And Gundy seems to think that he can just maintain the status quo and do what he always does against those teams even though everyone can see that from a talent standpoint OSU is an extreme underdog.There is not much tweaking that needs to be done though. Do what you’ve been doing against the lesser teams and then flip it around and take a few chances against OU and Baylor. Run a fake punt (when is the last time OSU ran a fake punt?) Try something, anything.Yes, I believe Mike Gundy wants to be Kansas State, tucked in windbreakers and all, and that’s working out pretty splendidly.But get back to me on December 3. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.