Well, I can't imagine any scenario where Holgorsen doesn't get at least one more year. To make a change after this season would seem to carry an $11.6 million price tag. Holgorsen's contract is, in fact, so one-sided that - at least according to the way my untrained legal mind reads it - if WVU were to fire him merely for being unsuccessful it would still owe him, in addition to $11.3 million in salary over the next four years, a $300,000 retention bonus due in the spring. Even if he wasn't retained.
Yeah, it's one-sided. If he were to pick up and leave it would cost him just $2 million.
This is much more than just a money issue, though. There is an argument to be made that Holgorsen is in the early stages of building what he wants. While you can rail on that the product on the field has done nothing but decline during his three years - it has - you don't get to decide if he seems to be on the right track or not. That's for Oliver Luck and the WVU administration to decide.
On the flip side, though, if you do decide he's not on the right track and you stop coming to games and revenues drop - and big-ticket donors rebel - well, then the finances involved in buying out a huge contract are obviously mitigated.
I can't see that happening, though, for at least another year.
That's not to say that changes won't be made by - or forced upon - Holgorsen.
As Holgorsen himself pointed out, Luck is a sharp football guy. Will he look at Holgorsen or his staff or anything else about the program and "suggest'' changes? Could be.
What those changes might be is anyone's guess. I can't see a wholesale changing of the guard as far as assistant coaches are concerned because that's been going on for three years. There's only one assistant coach, offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson, remaining from Holgorsen's first staff. When this season began, only defensive line coach Erik Slaughter was in the same position as the year before.
There's always the sticky question of Joe DeForest, of course, raking in $500,000 to coach special teams after his failed experiment as defensive coordinator. DeForest is under contract through next season, as are most of the assistants.
But shaking things up there - if for no other reason than as an appeasement to those who want to see something, anything changed and who still vilify DeForest for last year's defensive disaster (and his salary) - wouldn't seem far-fetched.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.