And so far, the 2016 schedule hasn't been toyed with. It includes Maryland at home, East Carolina on the road and BYU in Landover, Md. In 2017 Maryland and ECU are on the schedule so far and in 2018 just ECU.
The reason you should probably write those just in pencil is obvious. None of the schedules in the next three years are what they were a year or so ago and there could be other changes, especially when the new college football playoff folks get around to executing specific criteria (read strength of schedule) and the power conferences involved begin reacting to it.
For the record, though, the way WVU's schedules are set up in the next few years pretty much satisfies the school's criteria for doing so, namely getting seven home games in order to pay the bills. The exception is this year, when the home and road games are at an even 6-6 split.
In 2014 there are just six home games, but the neutral-site game with Alabama will be as lucrative as (or more so than) a home game. The same applies to 2016 with six at home and the game against BYU. In between, the 2015 schedule has seven true home games, oddly enough in a year in which there are just four Big 12 home games.
Again, though, don't carve any of it in stone.
When athletic director Oliver Luck said last week that he hoped that WVU's deficit during the 2012-13 fiscal year would shrink from almost $13 million last year to less than $100,000 this year, at first I thought that WVU's home football schedule had something to do with that. After all, the Mountaineers had seven home games, including five Big 12 home dates, which are worth roughly $2 million each.
Well, in some ways the home games did help, particularly from a concessions standpoint, where beer sales helped the bottom line. But ticket sales? Not so much.
It's not that crowds were lousy (although they certainly could have been better), but most of the tickets to those games were actually sold during the previous fiscal year, 2011-12. As it turns out, that's where the money is accounted for on the balance sheet - in the year the department lost $13 million.
It's not that big a deal, of course, but I did find it interesting. Consider this coming season, when WVU has just those six home games and no neutral-site game to make up for the shortfall. Most of the season tickets will be sold before the June 30 end of the fiscal year and that money goes on the books as 2012-13 income, even though it's for tickets to be used during the 2013-14 school year.
All of which, at least to me, makes WVU's small estimated loss for this fiscal year even more amazing.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.