Wiz favorite T. Boone Pickens hasn't been heard from since December, when his Oklahoma State Cowboys fell hard to fellow billionaire Phil Knight's Oregon Ducks in the Holiday Bowl, but like any good Cowboy, he has dusted himself off and is ready for the start of a new season.
Pickens, 81, has been taking a lot of hits lately with the collapse of oil prices. He tumbled from 131st on the Forbes list of wealthiest humans in 2008 to a tie for 334th in 2009. But he's confident that his prized investment, Oklahoma State football, is close to paying huge dividends.
Last week, he summoned Cowboy coaches and donors to his Texas ranch for a brainstorming session.
"We talked about how we were going to be better and how we're going to win," Pickens said. "Some great ideas came out of there. Some of our donors were there. It was a good meeting."
Problem is, despite Pickens' enormous investment in Oklahoma State athletics — $265 million by some accounts — the Cowboys are no better than No. 2 in their own state. He acknowledges that Oklahoma is the team to beat.
"They’re going to have a good football team," Pickens said. "Oklahoma's going to have a good football team. I'd say both schools. No question, OU. OU's got to be the frontrunner for the BCS."
The teams play in the season finale Nov. 28 in Norman.