Blogging about college football by an Oklahoma Sooners fan.

Conference Expansion Conspiracy Theory Starring Boone Pickens

Oilman T. Boone Pickens Talks with President Barack Obama

A number of questions came to mind today while I was reading Chip Brown's spin on how the Big 12 rose from the dead. There was one passage that in particular that stuck out like a sore thumb.

"And (Larry) Scott and (Kevin) Weiberg made one critical mistake in the courtship of the Big 12. Other than its somewhat foggy math that a 16-team Pac-10 could readily get to $20 million in TV revenue per school, they wanted to substitute Kansas for Oklahoma State late in the process, according to multiple sources in the Big 12... Scott was looking to add new TV markets, not stick to the deal that was agreed upon a few days earlier... Now they were dealing with a wheeler-dealer Pac-10 commissioner who wanted to sub out Boone Pickens' Cowboys for the chance to grab new households in Kansas, Missouri and middle America... (DeLoss) Dodds had given Oklahoma State his word they would be part of the group headed west. Now, the Pac-10 wanted to do some late rearranging. Dodds didn't feel good about it, sources said Tuesday."

I have plenty of issues with how Brown has reported this story, but let's go ahead and grant that this somewhat approximates how this small part of all the chaos went down.

Here's a question: Given all the double-crossing and back-biting going down, why does Texas' athletic director care about Oklahoma State's plight in all this?


Maybe he really was motivated by a sense of loyalty? Maybe he really didn't want to play ball with some "wheeler dealer" from California?

Or, maybe like everything else associated with OSU athletics, it all traces back to uber-booster T. Boone Pickens' wallet?

In 2007, Pickens donated a whopping $100 million to Texas to help fund two university hospitals. As the Pokes know all too well, though, Pickens' largesse never comes without strings attached.

In this case, Pickens put $50 million in two special funds under his management, one for each of the hospitals. Additionally, Pickens required that each hospital grow its fund to $500 million in 25 years via investment earnings on his seed money or new donations. Until each reaches that mark, the money is frozen.

Texas, consequently, has about a billion reasons to stay in the good graces of this old codger. Screwing the billionaire oilman's alma matter is one way to go about ruining that with a quickness.

Oh, and according to Pickens, everything worked out perfectly.