Easy "Pickens" For Boone's Oklahoma State Cowboys?
As many of us have figured out, all the money in the world doesn't buy your team a championship.
It's even harder in the collegiate world, where boosters can't buy players (technically), they can just hope to score the best coach and build the best facilities with the name of the game to get the best recruits.
That's why I'm so interested to see what happens with Oklahoma State's top revenue sports: football and men's basketball.
I caught up with Boone Pickens, the biggest booster in the nation, who gave $165 million to Oklahoma State exactly two and half years ago tomorrow, and he told me that his Cowboys are quite glad that a condition of his donation was to put the money back into his investment firm BP Capital.
Pickens told me that the $165 million is up 120 percent since his donation. That means that his original donation is now worth $363 million. Add to that the $28.6 million that was donated last month by Boone's friends Amy and Malone Mitchell to the athletics department and we're up to almost $400 million from two families.
So is it realistic to think all this money can help push the Cowboys past the in-state rival Sooners one day?
Last year, on the heels of a Phil Knight $100 million to the University of Oregon athletic department, I asked blog readers whether they thought Oklahoma State or Oregon would win a championship in men's basketball or football in the next 15 years than 40 percent of those that voted said yes.
But I'm looking at Oklahoma State football right now and I'm just not so sure. By most accounts, they are ranked somewhere between the 40th and 45th best team in college football this year. And perhaps, more importantly, Oklahoma got seven recruits out the Rivals 100. Oklahoma State? Zero.
Pickens apparently did a great job of managing the Cowboys money (not surprising), but just like the pros, seemingly no amount of money will buy you a championship.
Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com