DALLAS - On Monday morning, West Virginia University mascot Jonathan Kimble was standing among his costumed peers inside the Westin Galleria when the Oklahoma Sooners arrived.
Three players and the Sooners' head coach made their way through the room when Kimble spoke.
"Hey, Oklahoma," he said with his rifle in one hand and the coonskin cap perched atop his head. "See you in Morgantown Nov. 17."
There were gasps and laughs, smiles and winces and then a reply from Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops.
"We'll be there," he said.
A day later, Oklahoma State Coach Mike Gundy was in the middle of his press conference when a hollering from the hallway shattered the respectful silence inside a room filled with journalists.
"Let's go, Mountaineers!"
Gundy flinched, ever so slightly, and continued. A few moments later, another interruption arrived from a room to the right.
It was Kimble and center Joe Madsen singing the WVU fight song.
"Some of the cheerleaders were having a competition for what we do for a touchdown," Madsen said.
"Well, I scored a touchdown, which was pretty exciting, so I spiked the ball and did a little dance and then the Mountaineer and I did some pushups and sang for everyone. It was fun."
This noise lasted a little longer, so Gundy was forced to speak over the song, which he did with more pride than problems.
"I handled that pretty well," he said. "That was a pressure situation there."
Let it be known the Mountaineers wasted no time causing trouble in the Big 12.
They came here with a purpose, and while they didn't intend to do it by singling out opponents or rattling coaches, they wanted their peers to know they were very much a part of this conference.
Being invited is one thing. Belonging is another.
"We all came out here knowing what our abilities are, so why not have that kind of swagger where we say what we feel and do what we want, but at the same time show respect and know it's an honor being in the Big 12," Madsen said.