MORGANTOWN - It's one of the most-asked questions in two states, but the only guy who knows the answer isn't giving it up.
In fact, he won't even talk about it beyond answering the question with one of his own.
"What does it matter?'' Jeff Casteel asked. "This time of year there's speculation everywhere. It's always been like that. It was like that last year. It was like that the year before. And sometimes it's out in the forefront and sometimes it isn't.''
Well, this one is both out in the forefront and not at the same time.
In the desert, where former West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez was hired a couple of weeks ago as the football coach at Arizona, speculation is rampant that his new defensive coordinator will be one Jeff Casteel.
Here in the mountains, where Casteel is already employed as West Virginia's defensive coordinator, the speculation is more in the form of hushed whispers. Will Casteel still be around after West Virginia's Jan. 4 Orange Bowl date with Clemson?
So, has Casteel talked to Rodriguez?
"I've talked to Rich a lot of times,'' Casteel said rather evasively.
Whether or not any of those discussions have had to do with an opening on Rodriguez's staff, of course, is pure conjecture. The smart money, though, is that Rodriguez could do worse than Casteel and, in fact, has done worse. He had two defensive coordinators during his disastrous stint at Michigan and that, in great part, is the reason he's no longer the coach at Michigan.
A Rodriguez-coached team hasn't had a decent defense since he left West Virginia after the 2007 regular season. That one was coached by Casteel. It follows that if Rodriguez wants to recreate the success he had at WVU it would behoove him to seek out the same coaches.
To date, Rodriguez has filled almost all of his coaching openings. The one glaring exception is virtually the entire defensive staff. He's likely to hire a coordinator first, then allow the coordinator to have a say in filling in the rest of the staff.
So, will that coordinator be Casteel?