Thayer Evans Takes Down Oklahoma State

Kyle Porter —  October 17, 2011 — 42 Comments

Thayer Evans

Let me preface all of this by saying that I try to remain as objective and as smart as possible while still giving you what I believe to be an Oklahoma State fan’s view of how all of this is playing out and what all of it means.

I know That bothers some of you because you think it means I secretly like OU or am a bandwagon fan, both of which (based on my limited knowledge of the laws of physics and literary criticism) could not physically be further from the truth.

Others of you appreciate it and see things for what they really are. And realize that OSU is not going to win every game in every sport they ever play for the rest of time (crazy, I know!).

All that to say, I thought Thayer Evans’ piece on Mike Gundy and Oklahoma State (I refuse to link to it again, Google it or check the bullets from this morning if you don’t know what I’m referencing) was one of the most irresponsible, abhorrent pieces of journalism (are we even calling it that?) I’ve ever come across.

You want to see how to be critical of a team and its coach and still be fair? Try this beautifully-written piece by Brian Phillips. Or even this mostly fair, well-founded story from Ivan Maisel after the Texas game.

The way Thayer did it is not only a crash course in “how to suck at fact-checking” 101 but also a complete indictment on his lack of ability to tell a story the way it actually happened as opposed to the way he thought it should have happened.

This isn’t some “oh he said our offense wasn’t as good as Oregon’s” column, this is him personally going after a coach who has done nothing but build a top 5 program from basically nothing and a team that has gone 17-2 over the last two seasons.

Let’s look at a few of his quotes.

…a meltdown by seventh-year Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy is coming just like usual, as evidenced by his sixth-ranked team’s sloppy 38-26 victory Saturday against incompetent No. 22 Texas.

What is “just like usual”? Here are the games OSU was favored to win and didn’t since Gundy took over (how much OSU was favored by in parentheses):

2005: None (only favored in 2 though)
2006: Kansas State (-2) and A&M (-3)
2007: Troy (-10)
2008: Oregon (-2)
2009: Houston (-16)
2010: OU (-2)

The Troy game was a low point for the program and right in the middle of a QB change. The only other “meltdown” was the Houston game. So basically one game in six years. Okay.

Even the rest of the college football world knows Gundy is bound for a debacle. It’s the unspoken reason no one is worried about the Cowboys winning the Big 12 championship, let alone the national title, this season.

Does he vacation with Stoops who tells him off-the-record he’s not worried about OSU competing for the Big 12 and national title. I mean, has anyone thought about the lengths you would have to go to to get a behind-the-scenes off-the-record factual quote from another national-title-contending coach to make this a viable paragraph?

Everyone is just waiting for Chokie State to once again live up to its nickname under Gundy.

No, you’re the only one waiting for that so this paper mache column might cross the border from “I’m only writing columns to get pageviews” to “if you read it 40 times you might glean one good point from it.”

When Gundy’s Cowboys were ranked No. 5 in 2009 and considered a national championship contender, they lost their second game of the season to unranked Houston. Later that season, the Cowboys needed just to win at Oklahoma to make a BCS bowl game, but lost.

The Houston shot is fair but to say “the Cowboys needed just to win at Oklahoma to make a BCS bowl” might be the most asinine and short-sighted part of this article. Two teams have won in Norman since Stoops took over in 1999. TWO. They’re 75-2 in the last thirteen years and one of those losses was to OSU. So to say all a wounded team whose quarterback’s right arm may or may not have been attached to his chest needed to do was win in Norman is absurd.

Last season, Oklahoma State was in the same situation entering its game against Oklahoma, but again choked.

Because losing a 6-point game that came down to the final minute to a 12-2 team when you’re a 2-point favorite is choking.

Of course, Gundy’s biggest meltdown wasn’t even on a football field. It was four years ago, when he infamously yelled, “I’m a man! I’m 40!” while berating a female newspaper columnist for what she had written.

Yet despite his knack for meltdowns, a solemn Gundy managed to avoid one Saturday when asked whether he was haunted by his past failures.

“No,” Gundy said. “It’s a new season.”

But it’s still the same Gundy, always on the verge of a disaster.

He’s 17-2 since last season. He’s won 40 of his last 54. And he did all this in seven years with a team that was fighting Baylor for the rights to the bottom rung in the Big 12. What do you want?

Gundy’s players insist he is more relaxed this season than ever, but are well aware of his past meltdowns. They are used to being asked, “Are you guys actually going to win it this year?”

Again, show me all these meltdowns. I’ve got the last seven years of schedules pulled up and I see one.

And if this season is going to be any different for Gundy, even one of his best players can’t tell you why. When asked why people should believe that Oklahoma State won’t disappoint, Weeden was at a loss for words.

“I don’t know,” Weeden said. “We’re not worried about it.”

Weeden actually makes a good point. You can’t worry about what’s inevitable.

How big of an imbecile do you have to be to ask a quarterback who is 17-2 in his career and never lost on the road “why people should believe that Oklahoma State won’t disappoint”?

Again, I don’t have a problem with people objectively questioning OSU’s historically average defense or whether or not they can beat OU (because they haven’t in 8 years). But to fling mud all over a coach who’s building one of the nation’s most outstanding programs and to not-so-discreetly throw one of the winningest college quarterbacks of all time under the bus with a pointed question like that…well, how can I not think you have an agenda?

And Thayer, if by some off chance you stumbled across this post, you have an open invitation to join me on our podcast this week to explain yourself.

One thing to keep in mind: last year Thayer went after Auburn, and he went after them hard. I believe that ended rather well for them. Here’s to hoping that this evisceration of the best football team Oklahoma State has ever had is nothing but another foreshadowing of what January could hold.

I hope I see him in New Orleans.

  • Q

    I so hope this dude comes on the podcast.

  • Hunter

    We can only hope that a similar situation happens to Thayer like this moment from the National Title last year:!

    If you fast forward to the 0:55 mark, you can see Thayer in the background trying to sneak in on the Cam Newton interview. Cam Newton should have turned around and personally fed Thayer some crow.

    Hopefully Gundy has the same opportunity in New Orleans come January.

  • Cari

    When I read Thayer’s article I was very confused. Turns out he is the one that is confused. Thanks, Kyle!

  • Smitty

    I can understand an outsider’s perspective being skepticle of OSU. I can definitely give someone who does not obsess over every play and every news article like those of us who read this blog a pass.

    HOWEVER, lots of opinion in his article shaded by using the terms ‘everyone’ and the ‘whole college world’. I might I have respected him if he said, “this is my opinion and I stand by it”. Instead he makes is sound like he has an army of people behind him ready to support his assumptions.

    An opinion piece is an opinion piece until you make it sound like a news article.

    At the end of the day, WHO CARES, this is what happens when you are at the top. People will pick at you to get a reaction. It’s par for the course (unfortunately). BUT, it’s also a sign that we have a great team considering all the attention we’re getting (good or bad).

    • Kyle Porter

      Great points Smitty

    • Robert

      On the money, Smitty!

    • Scott Myers

      “At the top”? Umm your not at the top.

  • Jake

    Personally, im more offended by the dudes haircut than I was the article.

    • Kyle Porter


    • Smitty

      That’s money! HAHAHA!

  • Chance

    The guy comes across as either a pessimistic OSU fan who believes we should win every single game, yet we don’t, or one of my annoying FB friends who is an OU fan who feels the need to post something every time we lose a game.

  • AWC

    Ivan Maisel hates the Pokes too!

  • Clint

    The guy is a writer for OUinsider and has basically been writing garbage for years in an effort to stir the pot. He’s copied the Skip Bayless model without even bothering to do the necessary fact checking to back it up.

    It’s sad that fox sports employs this guy, but I’m sure all of us talking about it is just driving people to google to read it. And THAT drives up ad revenue. Can’t wait to prove this D bag wrong.

    Oh and I’m guessing he won’t do the podcast. He knows he cant stand and deliver when being put on the spot.

  • Jon

    How can he be mad at a coach when he ripped off Gundy’s haircut but brought it closer to god?

    Jersey Shore aside, don’t use quotes out of context to help convey your hatred for a team. Use facts (which he obviously has none).

    And referring to the past? It’s about the same as an OU fan saying they’re going to win it all because they beat FSUin 2000. It’s a new team with outrageous numbers that Landry Jones has dreams about every night.

    Hopefully Gundy reads the negative articles to his guys every game. We bring hellfire and brimstone after someone talks bad about us.

  • BigDaddyD

    I am personally sick of hearing about how AVERAGE OSU’s defense is this year. Find another team who has there defense on the field 37-42 minutes a game and still has the 4th most interceptions and 15th most sacks…..find a team who’s defense can hold their offense under 500 yards consistently while being out there that long.

  • Auburn Fan

    Seriously, this guy lost all credibility last year. If I were an Oklahoma State fan, I wouldn’t give him another thought. Totally not worth your time. I do find it a little funny he gets on to your coach for “berating” a female journalist when his ex-wife has a restraining order out on him (stalking and abuse, I believe). Good Luck on the rest of your season.

    • Nolo

      Good to hear from a national champ! Thanks!

  • osufan1974

    what kind of chickensh*t news organization pays money for this garbage? who is he related to at fox?

  • Barre Hendrix

    I read this this morning and it made me want to puke. I swear I had the same thoughts…did this guy graduate from OU? I hope the coaches see this piece and use it as a tool to motivate the team. I thought I knew some obnoxious OU fans, but this guy beats even them.

  • John

    I’ve never read anything from Evans before, but as usual it’s complete garbage.

  • KurtisWH

    I was reading the comments on his article and saw a comment where a guy went after Thayer calling his article unfair and bad journalism. A few minutes later the guy wrote another comment saying:

    “Thayer, I apologize for my comments below. I just googled you. There is so much hate surrounding you that these articles are your schtick. Everyone else please stop the hate. He doesn’t hate OSU, he’s just found the only formula that makes him relevant. My bad.”

    I think that sums it up quite well!

  • Dave

    I like how he mentions Weeden get sacked 5 times by Texas. Maybe he just thought Brandon was wearing orange and spells his name “Ash.”

  • Robert

    Gina Mizell said it this morning…the guy did exactly what he is paid to do…get clicks.

    I said in my post on the game that those guys can keep writing…OSU can keep winning, and that will take care of them.

    • KurtisWH

      He did what he’s suppose to do, now we get to make fun of him for the buffoon he is… seems like a fair trade to me!

      And it may get clicks, but I don’t think that type of journalism is the path to long term employment. Only a few can succeed with that style.

  • Robert


  • PattyB

    This guy got a big write-up in the Tulsa World Sports section today because of his extreme views, but they also provided tons of facts to illustrate just how wrong he is. Which pretty much points to this as a personal blog (or vendetta), not objective journalism. Shame on Fox for giving this hack a venue (and double shame in light of his ‘record’), but I’m not a Faux News/TV fan, either. Oh yeah, I’m very biased in that regard, but at least I’ll admit it.

  • G

    I read this doofus’ article yesterday. My initial thought was that he was an idiot and had an obvious ax to grind with Coach Gundy. Then I realized he was a shock-jock after googling his name, I came across these notable quotes from over the years:

    “Fire Thayer Evans – He’s out to ruin a young mans life without any credible sources, and this isnt his first time! He doesn’t deserve a job.”

    “29 Dec 2008 … Did the New York Times drop the ball by allowing unchecked Thayer Evans to write a one-sided, one-sourced article on football recruiting?”

    “21 Jan 2011 … I think we’re all familiar with’s Thayer Evans. You know, the guy that wrote the article called ” Don’t Vote Newton for Heisman …”

    ..and my favorite:

    “9 Nov 2010 … Unnamed Source: Thayer Evans Sleeps with Billy Goats. See how easy it is to do this on the internet? Thayer Evans, you sir, are a scum bag. …”

    His “journalism” is the worst protected by the First Amendment, and I refuse to generate revenue by clicking on any more of his trash.

  • C-

    Um…has anyone else googled this guy and where he went to college? Sounds like he has a bit of a checkered past…like Jayson Blair kind of stuff…

    “Mr. Evans attended Galveston College for a short time before getting a job at the Houston Chronicle. When inaccuracies in his resume were discovered, he quietly left the Chronicle for a role at the NYT office in Houston. With these new additions to his resume he was able to get a job as a sportswriter at Fox Sports. A confidant of Thayer says that he was told that there is nothing illegal in accepting money from alumni of one school to write articles that portray either players or other schools as dirty. “You just have to be vague enough to avoid slander and libel charges.”

    BTW, this is single sourced, AOL questions, in honor of Thayer’s brand of “journalism”.

    again, this is all off the internet, so take it as that, but when there’s smoke…

  • Rick White

    Thayer Evans is apparently an idiot. 5 out of 7 computers have OSU ranked 1st in the polls. I don’t think we played our best game, but we won in an extremely hostile environment at their place, not to mention at A&M. Please stop being a homer Evans

    • Cowboyfan37

      4 out of 6, we average 1 in the computers.

  • Nolo

    Guys, this article on the internet. That means it’s true. I don’t know what all the fuss is about.

  • Justin
  • Kat

    I just googled “Thayer Evans” and this came up as the 2nd link. Him being a part of the new allegations coincidence? I think not, what a POS.

    • Peter Dontoa

      yep….all media is full of lies, distortion and politics…sad….Thayer Evans has no credibility as he has been fired several times for ethics reasons.

  • Craig K

    Let’s have T Boone hire an investigator to check out everything about this AHole and publish his miserable losers life. Has he ever got a story right?

  • John

    I hope this dude has a good attorney because I know one that will be filing a suit shortly if he can’t prove some of these accusations.

  • Rick

    I heard he’s a wife beater and she had to get a restraing order against him. He also has been fired from two jobs for falsifying his résumé. I guess he tried to claim that Zero U is an a accredited university. The sick thing about all this is will have no effect at all on the OSU football program.

  • Ryan

    Although I agree that the article was a piece of journalistic garbage…the guy was right. Remember the meltdown against Iowa State?

    • Don

      The ‘meltdown’ against Iowa State the day an OSU plane crashed killing 4 people? The year Gundy and OSU went on to win the Big 12 and play in a BCS bowl? HUGE meltdown! right. Or just a bad day and good upset that still came down to a questionable missed field goal.

      • suzy

        thank you.. I was thinking the same thing… plus I mean we all know other coaches never have a melt down right??? that was a horrible horrible horrible situation and for it to be thrown in his face is disgusting.

  • RRA

    I look at this as another character assassination to sell magazines. What SI
    does in order to make money is worse than their allegations and is not
    journalism. They take facts, twist and misrepresent them to build a one sided
    case that gets national attention and destroys the lives a good people; Jim Tressel is a case in point.

  • oingo boingo

    boy was this some foreshadowing