MORGANTOWN - The Big 12 Conference has a newly minted commissioner and soon will have one of those gargantuan television contracts that keep money flowing freely.
The league will also have what appears to be rock-solid stability through 2025 assuming that the TV pact being finalized includes the provision that each member relinquish its first-born child (only slightly more valuable than $20 million a year in TV rights) through the length of the contract.
And while there are certainly other issues with which the league must concern itself, only one will carry the weight of intense public interest and scrutiny.
That new commish, Bob Bowlsby, treads lightly around the subject.
"I think that our discussions around expansion, whenever they come, should take into account the eight members that are here plus West Virginia and TCU,'' Bowlsby said. "And I think we need to be thoughtful about how we consider any other expansions.''
Thoughtful? Consideration of options? You've got to be kidding. That flies directly in the face of this blog- and twitter-dominated age, does it not?
Out there in cyberspace, the issue has all but been decided, right? It's Florida State and Louisville.
Or is it Louisville and Notre Dame? Or Clemson and Florida State? Or Louisville and BYU?
Or maybe it was Cincinnati and Louisville and Pitt.
Oh, well, it'll change tomorrow anyway.
No, despite rumors to the contrary, no one has a leg up in the race to escape whatever tortured existences in which schools find themselves. Mitch McConnell didn't back off from his head-butting of Joe Manchin and West Virginia because he was promised Louisville was next in line. Florida State isn't a gimme just because it has a brand name and is tired of being in a basketball-first league. Cincinnati doesn't just get to tag along because it's close to Louisville and WVU.
The fact is, the only school that could knock on Bowlsby's door when he officially takes over on June 15 and be given a seat at the table is Notre Dame. Then again, Notre Dame could knock on any league's door - yes, even the SEC or the Big Ten - and have a seat, so there's no news there.