MORGANTOWN — Having been in the business of covering sports and athletics for well over 35 years now, I can recall only once when I felt it prudent or at all necessary to drop what I was doing and fly off to some distant outpost to chronicle the doings of conference presidents and athletic directors.
It was mid-May of 2003 and the Big East seemed on the verge of if not collapse, then at least drastic reconfiguration. With John Swofford and the ACC ready to pluck Miami and any of a handful of others who felt the need to follow, I went to Ponte Vedra Beach for the Big East's annual spring meetings.
It was, as it turned out, a wise decision. Looking back, it was the beginning of the end of the Big East as we knew it.
Fast-forward nine years and West Virginia is a newcomer to the Big 12, which will hold its annual spring meetings in Kansas City beginning on Wednesday. Once again, news of potential conference-switching is all the rage, this time with Swofford and the ACC as possible victims.
Don't expect any hammers to drop this week, though. I certainly don't, which is why Ponte Vedra '03 will remain for another year as my only excursion to such an event.
Big news from the Big 12 this week? Never rule it out. The fact of the matter is, though, that landscape-changing deals tend not to come from formal, organized get-togethers but from behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing.
In other words, Florida State or Clemson or Notre Dame aren't on the agenda. They aren't going to show up with their resumes in hand. The Big 12 isn't going to become the Big Twelve this week.
Nor is there likely to be much movement on the still-in-theory $1.3 billion contract extension with ESPN.
No, this is more likely to be the week where a lot of hands are shaken, where West Virginia and TCU get into the nitty-gritty of how things are done in their new league and where some golf is played and food is served.
Truth is, there are a lot of things that have to be done when a league subtracts two members and adds two more. But they are boring things.
The fact is, the biggest news to come from the conference has already been made. It was that agreement with the SEC to pair up and take control of at least one high-profile bowl game. But as we pointed out last week, even the significance of that is up for debate.
I couldn't help but notice the Big East's semi-official reaction to the announcement of the Big 12-SEC Champions Bowl (working name only). I wasn't really convinced of how significant the development of the game might be until is saw WVU's former league shrug it off.