MORGANTOWN - There are a ton of things that raise curiosity as West Virginia heads into its first football season in the Big 12.
In no particular order, they include:
There are, of course, other intriguing questions. How will Mountaineer fans travel now with so far to go? How much beer can a thirsty Texan consume at Mountaineer Field? Will Holgorsen come back from all the road trips or, if he whips up on a few teams down there, does some booster stash him away in a secluded hotel in what amounts to his adopted homeland like some Cuban baseball defector?
I'm curious to find out the answers to most of those myself. But here's what I really want to know. And it's going to take some time to discover.
Has West Virginia been Boise State?
Really, for the past seven or eight years, since Miami and then Virginia Tech left the Big East and went off WVU's schedule, have the Mountaineers been a kind of BCS-level Boise State?
If you are among the vast majority who have complained in recent years of the disintegration of the Big East, its free fall toward football irrelevance, the Conference USA-ization of the league and West Virginia's need to run as fast as it can in any other direction, well, how can you argue the point?
Think about it for a moment. What is the single biggest criticism of the entire BCS structure every time Boise State goes 11-1 or 12-0 and finds itself in the mix for a major bowl or even a berth in the national championship game?
It's that the Broncos play in a weak league, schedule maybe one traditional BCS power a year and if they win that one game they can argue, "See, we can play with the big boys.'' And the retort from the big boys club is just as predictable and emphatic: "Great. But what if you had to play those guys every week?''
There's a big difference between playing Georgia at the Georgia Dome on Labor Day weekend and then facing Toledo, Tulsa, Nevada, etc. - as Boise did last year - and playing Georgia the week after LSU and the week before Alabama.