OSU-Georgia: The $6-million decision
OSU athletic director Mike Holder walked out of Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday night and thought about opportunity gained.
Last autumn, when Jerry Jones decided to pilfer as many college football games as he could cram into his new Dallas Cowboy football palace, one of his calls went to Oklahoma State. Would the Cowboys switch their game against Georgia to Arlington?
The money was enticing. Since OSU already had played at Georgia, there would be no split gate. The Cowboys would reap all the financial benefits and just pay Georgia the $300,000 owed under the contract. Georgia certainly would jump at the chance to avoid a road game and play instead on quasi-neutral turf.
Holder did some math. He figured OSU could reap $8.5 million. The Cowboys typically make about $2.5 million off a home game. I know Pickens has pumped the OSU coffers full, but who can easily turn down $6 million? “Tempting,” Holder said.
But Holder said no. He turned down Jerry Jones. Brought the Bulldogs to Stillwater. And you know the rest. OSU beat Georgia 24-10 Saturday and now is primed to spend the next two months in the top 10, with visions of a Big 12 title and national championship contention dancing in Cowboy heads.
“I try to make a decision based on what gives us the best chance to win,” Holder said.
That was Stillwater, of course. Here’s a sobering thought for OSU fans: the Georgia series almost didn’t take place. OSU initially turned it down and Georgia moved on, Holder said. But Georgia re-contacted OSU later, and this time Mike Gundy signed off on the deal that sent OSU to Georgia in 2007, with a return game in 2009.
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