I’ve picked Georgia to lose to Oklahoma State by 10 points. T. Boone Pickens, who has more money than Arthur Blank and I put together, likes Georgia to lose by 363 points.
When I read T. Boone’s “predicted” score of 387-24 in a post by Terrance Harris on Fanhouse — thanks to observant reader Dink for the tip — my first thought was that the oil wildcatter has obviously been scouting Willie Martinez. But after reading Dave Sittler’s original column in the Tulsa World, I’m not sure this was an actual prediction. Sittler used the word “requested,” which is a bit different.
Example: I would like to request that Mr. Pickens give me 165 million bucks, but I’m not predicting he will.
T. Boone is 81. (He and the fourth Mrs. Pickens traveled to Athens in 2007 when OSU lost to the Bulldogs. Both Boone — his pals drop the “T” — and Madeleine spent some time in the press box. They seemed nice.) Three years ago the oilman gave the OSU athletics department $165 million. The refurbished edifice Georgia will enter on Sept. 5 is, you’ll be shocked to discover, named Boone Pickens Stadium.
TBP is already on record as believing his Cowboys will enter their regular season finale against Oklahoma unbeaten. Sittler quotes Pickens thusly: “I know I stuck my neck out in that Tulsa World column when I said we’re going to be 11-0. And I still believe that’s what we’re going to be, but it’s going to be tough getting there. We have to beat Georgia first if we’re going to be 11-0, so I think we’re going to win that game.
You’ll also be shocked to know I have some experience being on the wrong end of a projected blowout. I picked the Rams to beat the Patriots 42-3 in Super Bowl XXXVI, and the Patriots not only beat my 39-point spread but won the doggone game. So now I’m thinking T. Boone might have jinxed his ‘Boys. And, since I’ve also picked OSU, jinxed me.
Great, I say. Just great. Give a guy $3 billion and he thinks he owns the world.
(Oh, and here’s another column on T. Boone, this by Jenni Carlson of the Oklahoman. If her name rings a bell, there’s a reason. Her column provoked the infamous Mike Gundy rant, for which we should all be eternally grateful.)