Most people have heard the phrase, "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."
The thinking goes that a guaranteed outcome is better than something that's merely possible.
That's also the kind of thinking one should use when looking at the seemingly never-ending drama of West Virginia University's Tier 3 media rights affair.
Most people know the story by now: Last year, WVU sought proposals to manage the school's multimedia rights. IMG College, West Virginia Radio Corp. and four other companies submitted proposals.
IMG won, John Raese cried foul. Attorney General Patrick Morrisey called for a mulligan, IMG won again.
There are a lot of facts up for dispute in the case - and they will likely be cleared up through West Virginia Radio's lawsuit against WVU in the matter - but after reviewing the bids last week, one fact became clear.
In both rounds of bidding, IMG was the firm that guaranteed the most money. Not projected, guaranteed.
To a businessman like Oliver Luck, no amount of projections or "fuzzy math" can trump a cash guarantee - especially an $86.5 million one.
While those bidders who based their proposal on projections - and we're not just talking West Virginia Radio - might not like that, it's the reality of the matter.
Well, most other bidders projected they would be able to continue and improve upon the $5.3 million advertising and royalty stream the university was already bringing in.
However, that revenue stream is not guaranteed. In fact, there are some very real-world headwinds that could chip away at that revenue in the very near future: