Friday, August 18, 2006

Gridiron News

Sadly summer is drawing to a close but the upside of that of course is that the football season is about to begin -- especially college football. Two news stories caught my attention this week regarding the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the Butler University Bulldogs.

The OSU news is doubly good news for the Big 12 Conference and I hope my beloved Iowa State University Cyclones. OSU's athletic department is the recipient of a US$165 million gift from corporate raider/hedge fund manager/OSU alumni T. Boone Pickens (note -- his autobiography, "Boone", is a great read especially the story of him checking crop yields in a pick up truck) to modernize their athletic facilities. This is a very substantial gift that hopefully will inspire my fellow Iowa State alumni to write bigger checks to support our programs especially since we already dropped the baseball program years ago and the hockey club should be converted into a Division I team. Unfortunately OSU Professor Robert Darcy complained about Mr. Pickens' gift stating that it was an example of the university's "overemphasis on athletics."

Apparently Professor Darcy has no idea or ignored the fact that Mr. Pickens' first gift to OSU, back in 1981 was a "non-athletic", academic gift to create the Boone Pickens School of Geology. Professor Darcy should also consider the impact that George Mason University's successful NCAA basketball tournament appearance in 2006 had on its academic programs since the fame they gained via basketball dramatically increased their student applications. Personally I wish every university had an alum like T. Boone Pickens for not only his financial resources but for his business skills and vision.

Long time Space Beagle readers might remember my posting from 2005 where I declared myself a fan of the University of North Florida Ospreys basketball team (but second to my Iowa State Cyclones of course) because they were ranked dead last in the "Sagarin Ratings" for pre-season NCAA basketball so loving an underdog I jumped on the Ospreys bandwagon!! Well this week the Sagarin Ratings for NCAA Division I college football were published so let me declare myself a fan (after Iowa State of course) of the Butler University Bulldogs ( ) football team in Indianapolis!! Butler is ranked dead last by Sagarin at number 241 with the University of Southern California ranked number 1 for the 2006 season.

Go, Fight, Win Bulldogs!!!

Enjoy the tailgating,


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