WVU cash, MU splash and Big 12 mishmash
YE OLDE (overstuffed like a pizza crust) notebook:
There were two questions. One concerned what, specifically, the new deal would mean to the Mountaineer athletic department.
"It's both exposure and money, to be crass," Luck said. "It's a chance to really upgrade our program, coaching salaries and infrastructure - maybe not immediately, but in the long term.
"It's easy to say you're going to be good in this sport or that, but it takes resources, whether it's bricks and mortar or salaries. It's an exciting opportunity, though. We'll have the resources to compete with everybody in the country."
Luck spoke of adding suites to Milan Puskar Stadium and, perhaps, a third floor to the facilities building.
The second question dealt with expansion. With Big 12 schools now beholden to each other for the next 13 seasons and with the media deal signed, is expansion more or less likely?
"I think there are four conferences [Big 12, SEC, Big Ten and Pac-12] more or less in the same ballpark," Luck said. "There's somewhat of a dropoff to the ACC, but it's not a big enough drop that teams [in the ACC] would change. I don't think there's any trigger to rash movements.
"If we're making $20 million [a year] and Virginia Tech is making $16 million, that's a gap, but not life changing. Before [in the Big East], we were facing a substantial difference."
Anyway, new Big East commissioner Mike Aresco had some interesting words to CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd.
"[The league is] much stronger than probably the perception has been," said Aresco. "I am really, really out there talking about it as much as possible. I'm absolutely convinced and I think I'm objective - it is significantly stronger than the Big East when it had the automatic qualifier and was confined to the Northeast and didn't have a bell cow like Boise State."
I don't think I even have to comment on that.
When the request for proposal was issued, an approximate deadline for a decision was Oct. 19. Keep in mind that unlike the ACC's latest media deal, the Big 12's new deal allows member schools to keep their third-tier rights. So throw that, as well as Champions Bowl income, as well as any upcoming playoff deal money, on top of WVU's future annual $20 million haul.
The Bobcats, about a touchdown favorite, could set the Thundering Herd back with a victory in Huntington. But all hard-core college football fans, possible Herd recruits and future opponents will take note if MU wins after OU defeated Penn State in Week One. It's a very important game for Doc Holliday and company.
Can the stadium/promoters really be making money?
I contacted the Redskins and tried to see how many tickets have been sold and the idea behind the game. WVU-BYU, yes, I can understand. But WVU-James Madison?
"We are pleased with the sales and expect a great game," wrote Tony Wyllie, senior vice president of the Redskins, in an email. "We do not disclose the number of tickets sold. The Redskins in conjunction with Russ Potts Productions host the game. ... We host the game because we are always looking to host high-profile events to FedEx Field."
So there you have it. James Madison-WVU is officially a high-profile event.
But WVU's John Antonik has put forth a very nice publication, called "The Backyard Brawl." It includes "stories from one of the weirdest, wildest, longest-running and most intense rivalries in college football history." And Antonik said it's the perfect time to release the tome.
"When Pitt announced it was going to the ACC and West Virginia said it was going to the Big 12, I felt it was the perfect time to do this," said the writer. "If they aren't playing anymore, it's a good historical perspective."
Indeed, Antonik did a nice job with the book. Worth a read.
Somehow, though, the Class AA trophy has disappeared. The folks at Oak Hill are stumped. So are we. So consider this an Amber alert for a big ol' block of wood. If you have it, please give me a shout.
Oklahoma got back the services of defensive tackle Casey Walker this week. He missed the first two games for undisclosed reasons. But he's a senior and third-year starter.
Oklahoma State's embarrassing defensive performance against RichRod and Arizona might have something to do with the absence of defensive coordinator Bill Young, who has been out for medical reasons.
And while Kansas State's jump in the polls after shellacking Miami was big news, the biggest from the conference has to be on the basketball side.
In case you've missed it, Texas Tech coach Billy Gillispie is on sick leave while the school's administration investigates possible mistreatment of players.
Jordan Tolbert, Tech's leading scorer last season, said this: "I don't want to play for [Gillispie] if he comes back."
That's what you call a problem.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.