GLENDALE, Ariz. — Boone Pickens is now reaping the benefits of his record donation to Oklahoma State football after the Cowboys captured their first outright conference championship and a trip to Monday night's Fiesta Bowl.
Pickens talked to reporters in the press box of University of Phoenix Stadium before the Cowboys' showdown with Stanford about this season, the future of OSU football and coach Mike Gundy's contract negotiations.
How does it feel to be in a BCS bowl?
“Big deal. Only time we've ever been here. We played Indiana (in the Insight Bowl in 2007), and I said, ‘This wasn't the bowl I was thinking about,' and somebody said, ‘You shouldn't of said that.' But this is the one I was hoping for, of course, so big deal for us.”
What's it like to see so much orange in the stands?
“No question, we travel well. Somebody said, ‘Well, you haven't been many places, so everybody wants to go.' And some of that's true. We stick together.
What does this season do for the future of the football program?
“I have to believe it's all good. I don't see anything that can be bad that comes from it. We've been well-coached, we've got a good team, we've got some good players and we had a hell of a quarterback walk on. I don't know whether we can ever count on a Brandon Weeden walking on again. I'll be excited about next year to see what we have. I'm going to miss Brandon, I'll tell you that.”
Does it feel like the rise of the program happened fast?
“It actually happened faster than I thought. Somebody said ‘When did you think (this would happen)?' I said, ‘I thought it was going to be two years from now.' So it's two years faster than I thought it would happen. What is that? That's somebody did some good planning and did some good coaching and, again, we had some good players.”
Do you have an update on Mike Gundy's contract negotiations?
“If I told you I don't know what's going on, you know I'm lying to you. I think that all got put on the shelf until we get through this game, and I think it should have. You can't focus on several things at one time. I can, but I'm not the negotiator, and I'm not the coach, either.”
Do you have any concern that it won't get done?