Pickens wants to see harder schedule
BY KELLY HINES World Sports Writer
Sunday, September 02, 2012
9/02/12 at 7:12 AM
STILLWATER - If T. Boone Pickens had his way - and why shouldn't he? - Oklahoma State's nonconference schedule would feature a high-profile team like Notre Dame.
"I just think we could do better," OSU's megabooster told media members before Saturday's season opener. "Notre Dame is already booked, but I'd just as soon play Notre Dame. Everybody wants to play Notre Dame."
The Cowboys' 84-0 dismantling of Savannah State showed why Pickens might be more fired up for a tougher foe.
"Am I excited about playing (Savannah State)? I don't want to say anything to hurt our opponent's feelings or anything," he said. "I just want to play a stronger nonconference schedule."
Specifically, Pickens would like to see a neutral-site game at Cowboys Stadium, which is an option OSU officials are considering for the to-be-determined 2013 and 2014 openers.
"The game down at Dallas has me interested, the Alabama-Michigan game (on Saturday night)," Pickens said. "I have a suite up there at Cowboys Stadium. ... I think we could play in that stadium."
OSU was in talks with Texas Tech to move the teams' 2009 meeting to Cowboys Stadium for what would have been the first game played there, but couldn't reach an agreement with the Red Raiders.
For the billionaire oilman, who has given nearly half a billion dollars to his alma mater, the media-availability session Saturday was a chance to respond to a July article in the Wall Street Journal that criticized his plan of taking out insurance policies on the lives of OSU alumni.
"I'd rather have (the article) than not have it," Pickens said. "I want Oklahoma State on the front of the Wall Street Journal and if they want to, they can say whatever they want about me.
"I think they thought I wasn't very smart with the Gift of a Lifetime deal. We'll see how that turns out."
Pickens also vouched for the financial stability of the OSU athletic department.
"If you look at most athletic departments, they don't have any money; they use it up each year and they work off a budget," he said. "We're not out of step on that.
"Listen, (athletic director) Mike Holder will keep you on budget. You don't have to worry about that."
Recently, Pickens checked out the progress of the indoor football facility, which is scheduled to be completed by spring.
"It's a first-class indoor facility, better than most in the conference," he said. "We're ranking up good, and the athletic village is moving on. Holder is doing one (project) right after the other."
As for future projects, Pickens said he hopes to see a new baseball stadium built.
Pickens also shared his thoughts on the upcoming season as the Cowboys are coming off the most historic year in school history.
"I think we should win 10 ball games this year and it could be better," he said. "I'm going to be disappointed if we don't win 10."
Pickens hasn't met freshman quarterback Wes Lunt but said "he looks like Brandon Weeden" and commended Mike Gundy on his job as head coach.
"We know we're not going to win everything every year," Pickens said, "but we're going to be competitive every year."
Kelly Hines 918-581-8452