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Boone Pickens: The World's Most Suffering Fan?

Friday, 21 Sep 2007 | 9:45 AM ET
Boone Pickens
Richard Drew
Boone Pickens

Oil might be above $80 a barrel, but Texas billionaire Boone Pickens probably has mixed emotions these days. Why? Because his Oklahoma State football team is not good. I'm a big college football fan and I thought they actually had a chance to show up atop the Big 12 this year, yet his Cowboys got waxed by Troy 41-23 last Friday (Boone flew in to Troy, Ala. for it).

They're in for another whooping against Texas Tech this weekend at good old Boone Pickens Stadium and it's another potentially disastrous game the following week against Sam Houston State. That team is not only ranked 15th in the FCS Coaches Poll (formerly Division I-AA), but its quarterback is former Oklahoma signal caller Rhett Bomar.

For those of you who don't know, Pickens donated $165 million, an NCAA booster record, last January to the school's athletic department. He then reinvested that money and grew it even more. But obviously that doesn't mean success comes immediately.

Unfortunately for Pickens, many readers of this blog believe big time donations won't help Oklahoma State win a national title in football or basketball in the next 15 years. On the occasion of Nike founder Phil Knight donating $100 million the University of Oregon last month, I posed that exact question and 61 percent of readers said they didn't think either school would win a title in either sport in the next decade and a half.

Many readers wrote in and said that huge donations improve facilities, but tradition and other factors sometimes overshadows that. Recruiting rankings should always be taken with a grain of salt, but I'm looking at Rivals football list right now and I wouldn't be happy if I were Boone right now. Oklahoma State has only one four star player so far and is ranked 31st. Oregon is even further down on the list, but the Ducks are favored to go to 4-0 this weekend and could crack the top 10 in the rankings next week.

Toughest Seats In The House
Here are the most expensive college games on the secondary market this weekend according to TicketsNow.com: 1. Georgia vs. Alabama (average price, $331), 2. Notre Dame vs. Michigan State (average price, $284), 3. Ohio State vs. Northwestern (average price, $202).

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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