MORGANTOWN - Cleaning out a crowded notebook and a cluttered mind while enjoying the blissful relative silence surrounding West Virginia's football team:
That's relative, of course, to most of the month of June, when if the former coach wasn't being tied to plots and subplots, the new one was tarnishing his image and then almost immediately resurrecting it by, of all things, jumping out of an airplane.
And this is the offseason? When nothing much happens?
And hey, I'm not the only one who is enjoying the silence. Julian Miller doesn't turn on ESPN and see the Flying WV nearly as much.
"And that's a good thing,'' the senior defensive tackle said.
Still, in some ways, even bad press is good press, if for no other reason than people are talking about West Virginia football again.
And let's face it, wasn't that the real issue with Bill Stewart's tenure? Yes, his teams won nine games in three straight years. Not many programs in the country can match that. But there's also no question that the buzz was gone. No one, at least on a national scale, was talking about West Virginia football.
So in some possibly warped way, Miller figures even the nonsensical publicity his team received in June was better than no publicity at all. Regardless of the reason, there is again curiosity about the Mountaineers.
"You don't want the negative media attention, but at the same time some attention is good,'' Miller said. "People out there in the nation can see, 'All right, we've got to look out for West Virginia. There's something going on there.' People want to see if we can get through this.
"A lot of people think that we can't, but I think there's something special here this year. And I think we're going to be able to show the nation when fall starts.''
I'll be the first to admit that I'm a fan of preseason polls and rankings and lists.
Sure, I understand that in the long run they are actually bad for Division I college football. Very bad. In the only sport known to man where public opinion - and not actual on-the-field competition - goes a long way toward determining an eventual champion, establishing the framework for that opinion months before the season even begins is ludicrous.
(And, by the way, don't let anyone associated with the BCS lead you to believe that that group's convoluted ratings system eliminates the problem. Even the BCS formula consists of one-third computer ratings and two-thirds public opinion polls.)