Same goes for Colt McCoy at Texas.
"We’re playing the same guys who were tough last year,” Pickens said. "We can’t be foolish about what we think we’re going to do, but we know we’re in the game.”
That wasn’t the case before he made that historic $165 million donation. OSU had a substandard stadium, a cramped locker room and an antiquated weight room, and yet, it was trying to compete with the likes of Oklahoma and Texas. The Cowboys might win every now and then, but over the long term, they were going to be on the losing end.
Pickens has given his alma mater a chance to change that.
"Once you start getting chances,” he said, "you’re going to start bagging some wins.”
Or in the Cowboys’ case, they’d better.
Pickens has done everything he can do for the program. Now, it’s up to the Cowboys to make good on the opportunity that he’s given them. The coaches and the players have to make it happen.
To whom much is given, much is required.
Granted, Pickens isn’t going to pull his name off the stadium if there are bumps along the way. He isn’t going to burn his orange ties or shred his alumni card or renounce his place as the Cowboys’ No. 1 fan.
He understands, after all, the process of building something successful.
"I’ve been around a long time,” Pickens said. "I’ve had a lot of victories and I’ve had some losses. ... I don’t go in the tank on a loss and I don’t go through the ceiling on a win.”
But make no mistake, this is a man who eventually expects big-time returns on his investments.
He wants the same from his Cowboys.