All of this was predictable, of course, but it's one thing to theorize it and quite another to live it. And live it again.
"It's not a one-shot deal,'' Huggins said. "I think at the end of the season we'll have to see what the cumulative effect is.''
No one is saying that the travel is the reason the basketball team is mired in a rather torturous season on the court, or that it was the cause of the football team's second-half-of-the-season collapse. But it certainly doesn't serve to balance the playing field at all with the rest of the Big 12 teams, all of which have one long trip a year to Morgantown (with the added benefit of a time difference that works in their favor, not against them) rather than nine.
And so the Big 12 will try to make some accommodations the second time around.
One will be scheduling a couple of those road trips in basketball for early January before classes begin in Morgantown. For instance, classes did not begin this semester until Jan. 14, yet two of the three Big 12 basketball games the Mountaineers played before then were at home. That was something Huggins lobbied to change when the schedule was being drawn up, but the league chose not to. Flipping even one game would help.
The Mountaineers also had five Monday or Wednesday road games this season, all of them 9 p.m. Eastern tipoffs. Even changing one or two of those to 8 p.m. starts would help.
And what about some tandem games? The Mountaineers had only one Monday night game on the road this season, at Kansas State, but that was after a Saturday home game. Why not try to schedule that Saturday game on the road and make it one trip. There are plenty of sites in the Big 12 close enough to each other that it's just a short bus trip on Sunday to the next game and there are no missed classes.
West Virginia is also lobbying to avoid back-to-back road trips in football, although that doesn't seem nearly as significant a problem. Again, in football it's an extra two hours on a plane (an hour each way) spread over two days when classes aren't in session. But every little bit helps.
"I think we've all got some ideas,'' Huggins said. "I think at the end of the year we all need to put our heads together and figure out what's the most fair and equitable thing to do.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.