Pickens named Texan of Year

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Oklahoma State super booster T. Boone Pickens picks up awards like I pick up my little boy's toy cars around our house.

But the award he earned and the commendations he heard Thursday night in New Braunfels, Texas, had to mean a little bit extra to him.

Pickens was recognized as the 2009 Texan of the Year at the 43rd annual Texas Legislative Conference because of his ongoing campaign to promote alternative energy sources and his continued contributions to charitable causes in Texas and around the world.

"He's a Texas legend of almost untold stature," Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who presented Pickens the award, told reporters. "The energy plan he laid out ... could change the world forever. That's the type of vision, that's the type of innovation, that's the type of leader that the world needs now."

For all the kind words Pickens heard, I'm betting he would trade them all for something even nearer and dearer to his heart.

A Big 12 football championship for his beloved Oklahoma State Cowboys and a chance to go to a BCS bowl would be even bigger for Pickens than any individual awards or honors he's picked up over his many years of civic service.

A lot of hard work and "sweat equity," to use one of Pickens' favorite terms, has gone into trying to turn the Cowboys into consistent winners. If it could ever happen, it would rank among one of the crowning achievements of his lifetime.

And with a few breaks, it could be this season.