HAD WEST Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck started a frequent flier account just six months ago, he'd probably have zipped through silver, gold and platinum status to chairman's preferred.
He's followed his son, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. He's attended business meetings. Just this week, he's been to New York for the Big 12 meetings on Monday and Tuesday and to Orlando, Fla., on Thursday for ESPN's Home Depot College Football Awards show, during which Andrew was honored with the Walter Camp Award. On Saturday, he'll be in New York again for the Heisman Trophy ceremonies.
Of course, he can use the miles when WVU joins the Big 12. But had the Mountaineers stayed with the Big East, they'd come in handy with Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, SMU and Central Florida now joining the league.
Luck, in case you're wondering, said he's not attended Big East meetings since his school's announced departure. The question posed, however, in light of the Big East news and Big 12 meeting, was whether the latter is considering expanding beyond 10 teams. If so, it seems, time is of the essence.
It would make sense for the Big 12 to move to 12 schools and give itself the option of staging a championship football game, whether it does so in the immediate future or not. If those in the Big East are targets for the Big 12, they will be locked into media rights contracts in the near future.
"Everybody's discussing the best conference size," Luck said Thursday. "There are different opinions. Some like nine conference games where teams play every other team and you have a true [football] champion. Some like championships. Some of those held - like in the Big Ten this year - are great. Some are not. I'm not sure what's right or wrong."
Luck, calling himself "the new kid on the block," didn't want to reveal what was discussed on the topic at the Big 12 meetings. League interim commissioner Chuck Neinas didn't immediately return a call.
Among the issues addressed, though, were the Bowl Championship Series and future television options. A commitment to Kansas City as the host of the men's basketball championship site was made amid doubts cast because of Missouri's departure.
What Luck would talk about was the state of the BCS.
"There's some growing interest in what they call the plus-one scenario," said the AD. "A lot are now interested that a few years back weren't supportive.
"They call it a plus-one, but really it's four teams with semifinals and finals. This year, it would have been Stanford-LSU and Alabama-Oklahoma State with a final following."
There's also much talk about ditching the automatic BCS qualifying spots given to six conferences. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany, for one, has said he'd be fine with getting rid of the AQ bids. But he and Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick said they'd resist the four-team playoff.
The four-team playoff, of course, would be a nice step toward a logical, normal playoff, which is held at every other level of football.