OSU mega-booster Boone Pickens' day has arrived

With the Oklahoma State football team riding high with a 9-1 record and a legit shot at the Big 12 title game, billionaire booster Boone Pickens is in high spirits.
by Berry Tramel Modified: November 17, 2010 at 10:13 am •  Published: November 16, 2010

“It was a great day,” Pickens said.

Succinct description of the OSU football cause. The Cowboys are treading new ground. Victories in Lubbock and Austin. Next could be the hydes of the Big Reds, with a Fiesta Bowl to follow.

“I feel good about it,” Pickens said. “I like where we are. It's an unbelievable year for OSU. If we don't make it this year, we'll be back next year.”

That's the thing. OSU hasn't just caught lightning in a bottle, with Texas' stumble. OSU has caught lightning in brick and mortar. That glittering new stadium that bears Pickens' name, with all the plush amenities — you really have to see them to believe them — has helped attract first-rate ballplayers to Stillwater.

Sure, Dana Holgorsen's new-age offense is all the rage. But Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon and Kendall Hunter became Cowboys when Holgorsen was just a twinkle in Mike Gundy's eye. Holgorsen is new-age, but Bill Young is old-school, and his defenders are playing solid.

This is not a program built on sand. Gundy's foundation is solid, and reason No. 1 is Pickens Village.

“You never hit a home run if you don't get up to bat,” Pickens likes to say, and he said it again Tuesday in Oklahoma City after speaking at the Creativity World Forum. “We're up to bat now. We're at the plate.”

Maybe you don't buy Pickens as an underdog, but you have to grant the Cowboys that status. Not so much as a division title in 15 Big 12 seasons. Only a solo tri-championship in 36 Big Eight seasons.

Maybe the Cowboys end that drought this season, maybe they don't. But their benefactor is enjoying the ride. Talk about your Pickens Plans.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

Blog: Season tickets to get hot?
by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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