Money Buys Success at Oklahoma State

Tony Salinas: Money Buys Success at Oklahoma State

When zillionaire donor T. Boone Pickens made it clear that he was going to spend big money to bring the Oklahoma State football program back to respectability...there were many skeptics. Even if Okie State improved, there was supposedly no way the Cowboys could move past powerhouse programs like Texas and Oklahoma in the Big 12.

Wrong!

Oklahoma State is representing the Big 12 Monday Night in the Fiesta Bowl, in a much anticipated matchup against Andrew Luck and Stanford. Texas went to the increasingly minor Holiday Bowl this year, following another disappointing season. Oklahoma, who was badly outplayed by OSU in its season finale, was stuck in the Insight Bowl against a boring Iowa team from the Big Ten.

Pickens didn't just get things moving in the right direction...his spending led Okie State to the top of the heap in a way that left Texas and Oklahoma eating his dust!

That's ironic for a businessman who made much of his fortune in the oil industry in Amarillo. I've known all about T. Boone Pickens for quite some time thanks to my roots in Texas, even if many around the country aren't that familiar with him. He was born in Oklahoma...but he went to Texas A&M before dropping out and finishing at Oklahoma State (wouldn't A&M like to have all of his largesse?!). He made his fortune in Texas...but is now re-investing part of his wealth in the Oklahoma State sports program.

You've seen what's happened:

*Oklahoma State improved its stadium
*Oklahoma State improved its weight room and other facilities
*Oklahoma State increased its TV presence by scheduling more intelligently
*Oklahoma State increased its recruiting efforts in the extreme
*Oklahoma State started getting guys Oklahoma used to get
*Oklahoma State started getting guys Texas used to get

Now, we may find out somewhere down the road that there was even more financial creativity involved in getting this program so far so fast. You hope not. But, it seems like every offseason is full of news stories about major football programs getting caught misbehaving in terms of how they acquire talent and keep it happy. While Pickens does have the resources to finance such chicanery, you have to assume a program is innocent until proven otherwise. For now, there's not even any smoke, let alone fire in that regard. It looks like everything's on the up-and-up...and Oklahoma State really has moved past Oklahoma and Texas because they're doing a better job on the field and off it.

I can assure you it's no coincidence that the Texas Longhorns are 5-7 and 7-5 the last two seasons after being perennial national contenders. The number of blue chip athletes has decreased on both sides of the ball in Austin, just as its increasing in Stillwater.

Does this mean I'm expecting Oklahoma State to cruise past Stanford in Monday Night's Fiesta Bowl? The market has the Cowboys favored by 3.5 points as I write this. Anything over three shows a lot of respect when the opponent is somebody like Stanford. The lines are so short this year that I will probably have a mix of underdogs and favorites in my annual New Year's Bowl extravaganza...and Oklahoma State could surely be one of those favorites. But, I have to admit that I'm concerned that the Oklahoma State defense will match up well against Andrew Luck's passing smarts.

On one hand, I like betting on the better athletes at cheap prices. On the other, I like betting on the smarter team with points when that smart team has had a month to prepare and come up with creative ideas on both sides of the ball. Maybe this is destined to be a thriller, and the best play is on the total. You'll have to purchase my Monday slate to find out!

You can do that right here at the website with your credit card. My strongest plays on the board are available for you right now...the games I'm betting the biggest myself on the single biggest college football betting day of the year. If you're interested in signing up for all football from now through the Super Bowl, you can get information on how to do that at my office. The number to call is 1-888-536-8880.

I see this every New Year's...and I've been out here in Las Vegas for a lot of New Year's! Public bettors come in all excited about the bowl feast...but then they just sit there and watch their bets lose all day. There's no WORSE way to ring in the New Year than by losing your bets in the big bowl games. Don't let that happen to you this year in games like Oklahoma State-Stanford, Oregon-Wisconsin, Florida-Ohio State, and the other early kicks. Make sure you're GETTING THE BEST OF IT with TONY SALINAS!

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