What will Bill Self do? A (mostly) balanced look at OSU and KU

There is no doubt that Bill Self is the number 1 candidate for the OSU job. Why would they have not talked to anyone else for one week after Sean Sutton resigned? Bill Self is their first option, and needless to say their best option. There is also no doubt that they will get their chance to make their proposal to Bill Self. He said as much yesterday saying, “If somebody from OSU calls me, I’m gonna take the call.” Oklahoma St. is his alma mater and in many ways, for a man who has moved around a lot, Stillwater could be home. As Kansas fans, you will read in the National Media, like here and here that Self would be only greedy for going to Stillwater. OSU fans like to believe in the charm of Stillwater (which there is), while not acknowledging that Lawrence is a similar kind of town with a similar rockin arena. So here is my take on what Self will be trying to decide. I’m an OSU fan, so there is that bias, and a hopeful one, so I like to wear my orange colored glasses, but I am not blinded by my allegiance to the university as many OSU fans are, so I hope that you Kansas fans will appreciate my bias, but appreciate more my insight, feel free to comment on how you think that I do.
First, why would Bill Self stay at Kansas? First, obviously, he can win a national championship and have a legitimate chance to contend for one every 2 or 3 years. (My definition of contend is Elite 8, if you are talented enough to get to the Elite 8, you are talented enough to win the championship) KU is one of the top 5 jobs in the country with Kentucky, UCLA, North Carolina, and Duke. I don’t want to get in the order, but most of us would agree on those. He is beloved in Kansas and can be a legend there, unlike Larry Brown and Roy Williams who left before they could reach legendary status. Kansas can routinely get the best players in the country because they are Kansas. They have a great arena in Phog-Allen, easily one of the top 5 in the country, and even with the success of their football team, they are still a basketball school. He is going to get paid a lot and deserves to be one of the highest paid coaches in America. Overall, Kansas is the best program in the Big 12 and has everything you could ever want or need to be ultimately successful.
Why would Bill Self choose OSU? There is something special about your alma mater. There is no doubt that Self loves OSU and loved his time there. He grew up in Edmond, 1 hour from Stillwater, played four years at OSU. Spent another 3 years getting his masters from OSU, while he was an assistant for a total of 7 years. 11 years total in Stillwater and with OSU. It has been the place he has spent the most time in his adult life. He meet his wife while at OSU. They have roots there. Stillwater is one of those places that people fall in love with, and coaches like to come home too. While OSU is not on the same level as Kansas, OSU is a top 20 program (even without the money of Boone Pickens) read this if you don’t think so. Only 6 schools including KU with 3, have more championships that OSU. Only 8 schools have more Final Fours that OSU. They are also in the top 20 in NCAA tourney appearances. OSU is a place you can compete for a national championship every 5 years, instead of every 2 or 3 years like KU. (1995 Final Four, 2001 Elite 8, 2004 Final Four) They have undoubtedly a top 5 arena in Gallagher-Iba Arena. So, while OSU is not at the same level of Kansas, this is not a major step down in program stature. You can recruit to Stillwater. They have 2 McDonald’s AA on their team now. They signed the number 1 rated class a few years back (though I don’t want to talk about that disappointing class now). Some may say that Self would not take the job because of his relationship with the Suttons. While he greatly respects Eddie and Sean and is a friend to both, he never played under Eddie and just was an assistant coach for a couple years under him.
The national media will tell you that Self would only go to OSU to follow the money. You’ve read the figures. He would be the highest paid coach in the country, but the least assuming of them. Self does not have the same sort of ego that many other coaches have. But if he took the OSU job, they would call him “Dollar Bill.” As the national media often does, they take the easy, sexy storyline like money and run with it and slam whoever they please with it. If he goes, Self will say that it was not about the money, people won’t believe him, but I will.
What do I think Self will do? Best odds are that he stays in Kansas, but I give him a 33% chance to come home to Stillwater. If he comes it will not be because of the money, but because he loves his alma mater. It won’t be because of T. Boone’s influence, but because of his family’s influence. It won’t be because he wants to punish himself, but because all coaches love challenges that lend great rewards and this is a great opportunity. Self won a national championship at Kansas; he did what he went there to do, now he has to decide where does he want his legacy to be at: Kansas or OSU? That is the question. Often in basketball coaches are put in lose, lose situations (see Sean Sutton), but this is the ultimate win, win situation for Bill Self and his family. Stay in Kansas and grow a legacy compete almost every year for a national championship and make a lot of money. Or go home to Oklahoma State and grow a legacy, restore the program to prominence, compete almost every year for a national championship and make a lot of money. This is a great week to be Bill Self. He is already a hero in Kansas; will he be one in Oklahoma?

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “What will Bill Self do? A (mostly) balanced look at OSU and KU

  1. Shannon

    So now who do you all go after?

    Billy Gillespie and see if you can pull him out of his “contract” with Kentucky?

  2. aarontiger

    I think Gillespie is a long shot. Here are the names I am hearing the most: Dixon from Pitt, Lowry from Southern Illinois, Floyd from USC, Miller from Xavier. The sleeper of the mix that would excite me the most Izzo from Mich. St.

  3. Shannon

    Take Dixon. Please! Please! Please! Please! Please! Please!

  4. Pingback: A Year of Blogging « Being the Way I was Made

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