MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia Coach Dana Holgorsen knows a lot of people in the Big 12 Conference from the eight years he worked there as an assistant at Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.
He said he knew nothing of WVU's inevitable admission to the conference he once called home.
"All my contacts are coaches," he said. "What do you think they're doing this week?"
Inside receivers coach Shannon Dawson wanted only to talk about his players, how they played against Syracuse last week and what they have to do to be better Saturday.
"Let's keep this about Rutgers," said Dawson, who was the offensive coordinator the previous three seasons at Stephen F. Austin, in Nacogdoches, about three hours southeast of Dallas.
Offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh was with Holgorsen at Texas Tech as a graduate assistant and then full-time assistant from 2000-06. A return to his roots was off limits, as well.
"I've got enough things to worry about," Bedenbaugh said after WVU allowed four sacks and plenty of pressure against the Orange.
Yet the news of WVU leaving the Big East after joining in 1991 nevertheless reached players Tuesday. Quarterback Paul Millard and running back Dustin Garrison are the only Mountaineers from one of the four states to represent the Big 12 - Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Iowa. Both are from Texas and Garrison found a lot of questions waiting for his reply.
"I've been hearing about that and I've been getting text messages from family," said Garrison, who is from Pearland. "So am I, but right now, we want to take care of the Big East before we go so we can come out on top. If we do leave, we want to leave as champions."
Talk of the Big 12 will wait, but challenges await the Mountaineers upon their arrival, whenever that is. Quarterbacks coach Jake Spavital grew up in Oklahoma and played high school football there. He worked as a graduate assistant at the University of Tulsa, the University of Houston, Oklahoma State and then briefly at WVU. It was at Houston where Spavital met Holgorsen and when Spavital began to study the things coaches need to do in college.
It was different in Texas and in the Big 12's neighborhood. WVU will be an outsider getting used to new digs.
"The way we recruited - and this was pretty much the way the whole state of Texas recruited - was we'd wait until the University of Texas got their commitments and wait until Texas A&M got their commitments and then it was open to everyone else," Spavital said. "Now, that was the way we did things at Houston, a Conference USA school, but we could compete with (Texas Christian University) and Baylor. We could compete with those schools."