Just how much did the commissioners of the SEC and Big 12 know prior to their joint announcement of their new Champions Bowl?
For that matter to what degree did the two 'power' conferences influence their counterparts in the Big 10 and Pac 12 to go along with the newly agreed upon National Championship Series?
Inquiring minds would like to know the answer to these and other questions and local college football fans will get an opportunity to inquire about those, as well as ask other questions, when West Virginia University Director of Athletics Oliver Luck returns to the Mid-Ohio Valley to serve as a guest speaker for the Riverhawk Athletic Clubs.
The event, slated to begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 13, will take place at the WVU-Parkersburg Activities Center.
In addition to being a wonderful opportunity to financially support a number of local athletes, the event also will allow those wanting to know the ins and outs of the events that led up to WVU's joining the Big 12 as well as the development of the Champions Bowl and NCS to get those answers from someone in the know.
And, do not kid yourself, if there is one thing that I have discovered during prior discussions with WVU's 11th A.D. is that this guy has been more than (forgive the pun) lucky with the decisions he has had to make during his first 24 months at the helm of the program.
Luck, like his predecessor Eddie Pastilong, has been on an unbelievable roll since taking over the reigns of his alma mater on June 9, 2010.
Forget, for a moment, his coaching hires and even his decision to allow beer sales at Mountaineer Field in order to increase revenues that would help in funding the many non-revenue sports offered by the university. His biggest coup to date has to be getting the old gold and blue into a Big 12 Cconference that appeared to be on life-support at one time only to make a remarkable recovery by tying itself into a multi-million dollar deal with the SEC.
Yes, the bar has been raised as far as the level of football competition, although, lost in all of the realignment discussion, WVU holds a 9-2 mark against the teams that make up its newest conference affiliation.
No, it won't be easy. I can remember fans across the Mountain State expressing their concerns when the Mountaineers celebrated their 100th year of playing football by joining a Big East conference that included Miami (Fla.) as well as Virginia Tech.
The first two seasons were not pretty as WVU struggled to post a 3-4 and 2-3-1 marks, but that all changed with the Don Nehlen-led Mountaineers posted a perfect 7-0 mark in conference play in 1993, capturing the Lambert Trophy in the process.
As I found out growing up nothing worth having is going to be given away.
That might explain why I am so impressed with the job Luck has done and will be there on Friday night in hopes of discovering his plans for WVU's future.
Contact Jim Butta at firstname.lastname@example.org