December 10, 2012

Monken accepts the head coaching position at Southern Miss

News broke on Monday that offensive coordinator Todd Monken will accept the head coaching job at Southern Mississippi, a member of Conference USA.

Of all people, Monken's probably the most deserving of his chance as a head man. He inherited Dana Holgorsen's offense when he was hired in the spring of 2011, and led that offense to a Big 12 Championship and the school's first BCS Bowl win.

Outside of that, his two units have been at the top of every statistical ranking in their respective seasons, with the most impressive part of his resume being constructed this season. Due to injuries, Monken had three 1,000-yard passers, one 1,000-yard receiver, and one 1,000-yard rusher all on the same team, and when it's noted that all quarterback's were different styles of players, it gains even more merit.

Monken is a playbook genius who added his own twist to Holgorsen's offense and made it even more successful than it already had been, all while constantly adding wrinkles to make it more predictable than it was the previous week.

He was also a leading recruiter, and was one of the major reasons that quarterback Wes Lunt came to Stillwater, and also that Luke Del Rio remains committed to the program, though that could possibly change with Monken's departure, but we'll get to that later.

Monken did his job in furthering Oklahoma State's newest tradition-A high-scoring, high-octane offense, and his replacement will be as hard to find as ever.

With every departure becomes problems, and the rumor mill hit the ground running when the news hit Twitter.

Of everything flying around, here are a few realistic effects the Monken departure could have on Oklahoma State.

Possible Effects

-Obviously, another job search is here for coach Mike Gundy again. This time, it's unclear who the front-runners could be. Kliff Kingsbury (A&M's offensive coordinator) was one name thrown around, but it's unlikely Kingsbury would make a lateral move when he likely already has head coaching calls coming in. He's likely waiting for the right position to open up for him, and I doubt his ideal place is offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State. Another name thrown around was Joe DeForest, who's currently the defensive coordinator at West Virginia.

-Joseph Randle is heading into his senior year, and is off of back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. If he decides to return next season, it would mean he'd be under a third offensive coordinator in just four years. That alone could be enough to make him decide to run for the money in the NFL that he'll undoubtedly get, and that could be a major blow to Oklahoma State depending on how Jeremy Smith performs as the starter.

-Rumors started as the regular-season came to a close that Lunt was unhappy with the current situation. I don't know if they're true or not, but if they are the Monken departure could be big. Was he unhappy with Monken? Was he unhappy with other things and Monken was the reason he was there? We may never find out, but it's definitely something to keep an eye on.

-Speaking of quarterbacks, Del Rio could be thinking twice about coming to a Monken-less Cowboy program. When the news hit Twitter, he posted an interesting tweet, basically saying he didn't know what the future holds for him.

-What does Clint Chelf think about all of this? This means that he would have to prove himself to yet another offensive coordinator after finally getting his chance this season. Does he head to Southern Mississippi with Monken and play his senior year? You don't have to sit a season as a senior, so he would be able to play immediately. Maybe not likely, but a definite possibility.

-Watch the recruiting class and commitments for offensive players. As I said before, Monken was an incredible recruiter, and much like Del Rio, other players voiced their desires to play for him rather strongly. Does this cause a few to explore other options? And even more importantly, does this knock OSU off the radar for other recruits who haven't made a decision yet? The most notable of those is the nation's top wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, and he'll likely be watching very closely to see what happens in Stillwater during the next couple of months until signing day in February.


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