MORGANTOWN - Cleaning out a crowded notebook and a cluttered mind while wondering just how excited you folks should get about this football game with Alabama in two years:
That, of course, is an eternity in this era of conference expansion and the resultant havoc it wreaks with scheduling.
Let's face it, weren't you also looking forward to that home-and-home series with Jimbo Fisher and Florida State? Or how about the one with Michigan State?
Those were fun, too, right?
Still, why not pencil it in? Or, with Thursday's official announcement, write it in ink?
Sure, there's no room on the 2014 schedule right now, but a $3 million guarantee - which is the supposed payout from the Chick-fil-A Classic folks for the season-opener at the Georgia Dome - will go a long way toward buying out one of the two non-conference road games already contracted for that year against East Carolina and Maryland. Don't even think about buying out Towson State that season as an option. West Virginia already has only six home games in 2014.
Then again, it might not require a buyout. By 2014 Maryland is likely going to have to adjust its schedule for a nine-game ACC schedule, and WVU already planned to talk to East Carolina about some adjustments in a six-year contract that begins in 2013.
The bottom line is that West Virginia isn't scheduling in a vacuum here. Who knows what the next two years will bring in terms of conference shifting and the need for Maryland and East Carolina and everyone else to tweak schedules?
Keep this in mind, though, because it's the real elephant in the room. For years people complained about West Virginia's ho-hum Big East schedule and all the Towsons and Libertys and even the Bowling Greens and, yes, East Carolinas on the slate. Now try this on for size in 2014: Oklahoma, Kansas State, TCU, Baylor and Kansas at home; Alabama, Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Iowa State and either Maryland or ECU away from Morgantown.
The first person who utters even a heavy sigh about Towson should be blindfolded and given a cigarette.
Speaking of a $3 million guarantee, how handy will that come in when applied to West Virginia's bottom line?
USA Today published its annual breakdown of college athletic department finances this week. As a point of clarity, it includes only public universities (private ones aren't required to divulge their records), so scratch most of the Big East's non-FBS football schools. We mention the Big East because the numbers are from 2010-11, when WVU was ingrained in that league.
Anyway, the figures show that West Virginia lost money in 2010-11 for the first time in the six years of the survey, which is not news. Nor is the fact that perhaps the biggest reason was coaching salaries. In 2005-06, WVU paid its coaches just under $11 million. That number rose steadily, but in comparison modestly, to just of $16 million in 2009-10. But then it skyrocketed to more than $25 million in 2010-11. It will go up more this year.