As he searches for a new men's basketball coach, Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder is armed with a powerful negotiating tool.
The entire country knows about Pickens, as do potential coaching candidates. This figures to up the salary ante considerably.
In alphabetical order, here are my top 26 candidates for the job, with their current salary and what it might cost OSU to land him:
Anthony Grant of Virginia Commonwealth.
It's no coincidence this A-list candidate is listed first. Current salary: $600,000. Estimated cost for OSU: $1.2 million.
Billy Gillispie of Kentucky.
If you offer Gillispie a job, have a detailed contract ready — in triplicate. Current salary: $2.3 million. Cost for OSU: $3.25 million.
Chris Lowery of Southern Illinois.
This guy is a stud. Teams are well-coached and tough. Current salary: $750,000. Cost for OSU: $2 million.
Dana Altman of Creighton.
Calling the Hogs scared him away. "Go Pokes” is much less embarrassing. Current salary: $1 million. Cost for OSU: $1.5 million
ESPN analyst Bob Knight.
He revered Mr. Iba, but it's doubtful he would coach on a court named after Eddie Sutton. Current salary: Unknown. Cost for OSU: $3 million, plus free fishing and hunting.
Floyd, Tim — USC coach.
Was a candidate at LSU. Don't let him escape to the bayou. Current salary: $850,000. Cost for OSU: $2 million
Gonzaga coach Mark Few.
There must be something that can pull this guy away from Spokane. A ridiculous offer might do it. Current salary: $750,000. Cost for OSU: $2.5 million.
Hinson, Barry — former Missouri State and Oral Roberts coach and OSU grad.
The Cowboys could use some good PR right now. Find me a better speaker than Hinson. Current salary: None. Cost for OSU: $300,000, plus $20,000 per speaking engagement.
Illinois State coach Tim Jankovich.
If you're looking for a bargain, this former OSU assistant is your man. Current salary: $170,000. Cost for OSU: $170,001.
Jay Wright of Villanova.
How can such a nice guy be so attached to such a mean town like Philadelphia? Current salary: $1.3 million. Cost for OSU: $2.6 million
Keno Davis of Drake.
His first name offers lousy odds in Las Vegas, but he might be worth the gamble. Current salary: $200,000. Cost for OSU: $800,000.
Lon Kruger of UNLV.
A coach who can be lured with golf perks.