Think your team has a fatcat? Forget about it. T. Boone Pickens, who we've chronicled time and again, is a man among boys when it comes to a bankroll. And his team is Oklahoma State.
T. Boone State opens Saturday between the hedges at Athens. Consider this your last warning, Georgia.
T. Boone State is bringing a high-powered offense and questionable defense, but in time, the bankroll will help clear up those defensive problems.
In advance of T. Boone's visit to Athens, he gave an interview to Carter Strickland of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"I know we are not going to win every game," said T. Boone, 79. "But what I want is a football team and a program that could do that. We may not win every game, but I want to have a chance to win every game. We may go undefeated. I'm not sure that I have got that much time left.
"But I'll do anything within my power as long as it is honest to try and make that happen. Anything they need."
In late 2005, T. Boone forked over $165 million to the Oklahoma State athletic department. Well, that money was in the Cowboys' hands for less than an hour before it was transferred to a fund controlled by — you guessed it — T. Boone. He has since parlayed it into $300 million in a challenging market.
Then there is the "Death Pool," or "Gift of a Lifetime" if you're an Okie State fan. Twenty-eight donors agreed to name Oklahoma State as beneficiaries of lift insurance policies worth $10 million each.
Flush with funds, Okie State decided to build an athletic village just north of campus. Of course, some of the land needed for the project was seized through eminent domain.
Recruits are starting to notice, as Strickland points out. Oklahoma State has 19 commitments and is rated 21st by Scout.com for 2008. The two previous years the Cowboys cracked the top 25 in recruiting rankings for the first time.
Hopefully this won't impact alternative admissions given to student-athletics, which have been rising at an alarming rate at the university.