When you are a person who has donated nearly half a billion dollars to a university — including $165 million in 2005 earmarked for the athletic department generally and work on the football stadium specifically — you tend to have a very rapt audience whenever you decide to toss an opinion out there for public consumption.
Of course, T. Boone Pickens is the philanthropist in question, and the billionaire oilman and Oklahoma State alum just happened to be making a speaking appearance at the Oklahoma State Capitol Wednesday amidst all of this conference turmoil and potential upheaval.
As his Cowboys have been shoved onto the cusp of the rumor mill as part of the SEC possibly answering the Big Ten’s expected expansion, Pickens was asked about the speculation and just where his school should reside conference-wise. Make no mistake that, in his response, the really, really rich guy sees — barring the type of cataclysmic shift that would force Notre Dame out of its football independence — conference games played at T. Boone Pickens Stadium in the future being Big 12 conference games.
“We could sit around and take two and move them there and then take four and move them southeast and four to the west. You know what I mean? But we’re just wasting time,” Pickens told the Associated Press. “Let’s see.
(Our emphasis added.)
Of course, Pickens’ power and money can only go so far in determining where the Cowboys end up in the future. In fact, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and his SEC counterpart, Mike Slive, may hold more sway in Pickens’ school’s future conference alliance than Pickens himself.
Still, there’s no question that the folks in Stillwater have heard Pickens loud and clear on this issue, and the philanthropist will without a doubt — and rightly so — have a say in any type of movement if/when the apocalypse comes to fruition.
Which it likely won’t. But ain’t it fun speculatin’ and stuff?