Apparently, rumors have been making the rounds that are connecting former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach with Oklahoma State.
Specifically, there’s been speculation that Cowboys owner booster T. Boone Pickens dispatched his private jet earlier this year to pick up Leach and fly him back in order for Pickens’ to pick the offensive mastermind’s brain regarding OSU’s new offensive coordinator, Dana Holgorsen.
According to Pickens, that’s simply not the case.
“I haven’t talked to Mike Leach in at least three years,” Pickens told Tulsa World. “When I do see him, he’s always very friendly. But I wouldn’t be looking to him for advice.”
While on the subject of speculation, there’s a growing sentiment that current head coach Mike Gundy could be on the hot seat — if he’s not already — if 2010 turns into a fair-to-middlin’ season. As Pickens has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into OSU’s athletic coffers, his opinion on the current state of football at his university carries as much or more weight than anyone else.
In his conversation with Tulsa World, Pickens did not exactly give Gundy a ringing endorsement as the coach heads into his sixth season in Stillwater with a sub-.500 conference record on his résumé.
“That day I gave the money I said I knew we’re not going to win every game,” Pickens said. “But I’m tired of leaving the stadium with my head down. And I darn sure had my head down after the (2009) game in Norman and after the Cotton Bowl. I’m 82, so I’m not on the 20-year (rebuilding) plan.
“Gundy has assembled a good staff, our program is stronger and our recruiting is better. But the Big 12 South (division) is a tough place to hang out.”
Pickens can say all he wants that he’s “not interested in [Leach] as a football coach”, but, if the Cowboys stumble early out of the gate, the Leach rumors will most certainly grow in both frequency and volume.
What does Gundy have to do to quash the Leach-to-OSU speculation? Just win. And make T. Boone a happy billionaire.
No problem for a 40-something man, right?