MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Sports

June 3, 2009

Pickens picks OU?

So he says, but ‘secret plans’ take aim at OSU uprising

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Over the years, billionaire booster T. Boone Pickens has invested quite a chunk of change in making Oklahoma State into a competitive football program.

That doesn’t mean he’s blind to what the Cowboys are up against.

“They’re going to have a good football team,” Pickens said Wednesday before a speech in Oklahoma City. “Oklahoma’s going to have a good football team. I’d say both schools. No question, OU.

“OU’s got to be the front-runner for the BCS.”

Maybe Pickens was just being realistic since the rival Sooners have won the past six Bedlam games and bring back Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford from the team that lost the BCS championship game to Florida in January. Or maybe he was trying to put the pressure on Oklahoma while his Cowboys enter a season with their highest expectations in years.

Oklahoma State went 9-4 last year and spent part of the season in the top 10. Most of the team’s key players — including quarterback Zac Robinson, tailback Kendall Hunter and receiver Dez Bryant — are back this season.

The rivals meet in the season finale Nov. 28 in Norman.

Pickens said he had Oklahoma State coaches and donors visit his Texas ranch last week for a brainstorming session on how to make the team better. The Cowboys plan to move into a new west end zone facility at Boone Pickens Stadium on Monday.

Pickens donated the money to renovate the stadium, including new suites atop the north and south stands and a new weight room, offices and dining area in the bowled-in west end zone.

“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.”

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