West Virginia's four non-league games are home against Marshall and Maryland, at Florida State (the start of a home-and-home and the final games of the ACC-Big East lawsuit settlement from 2005), and a FedEx Field date with FCS member James Madison.
Only the JMU game wouldn't seem to be in play for cancellation.
The buyout payment to the host Washington Redskins is "more than $1 million," Parsons said.
Parsons said getting out of the attractive series with Seminoles would cost in the $800,000 range in liquidated damages, but that nothing in the previous lawsuit settlement would prevent that.
The buyout for the final Friends of Coal Bowl under contract is only $150,000, because the breach would be by the home team (WVU). It would be $300,000 if the visiting team walked. Marshall would then have to find another FBS opponent for the Sept. 1 weekend (the Herd already has an FCS foe next season in Western Carolina).
WVU might ask Maryland to push the scheduled 2012 game in Morgantown back to the end of the current contract, to the 2018 season.
"But then what happens the year after (2012)?" Parsons said. "It isn't just one game to move one year. It's a whole philosophy you're going to have to consider."
Or, WVU might get more creative. It could buy out Marshall, move Maryland into a Sept. 1 game (the Terps don't have a game scheduled that date yet) for a home opener, then play in Tallahassee and JMU at FedEx before starting league play.
Or, West Virginia could play Marshall and then FSU and move the Maryland game on Sept. 15 to FedEx Field, buying out James Madison in the process. (Maryland has scheduled Connecticut that date.)
Down the road, WVU could buy its way out of a six-game, home-and-home (2013-18) with East Carolina.
It's no secret that somehow, West Virginia and Pitt would like to continue their "Backyard Brawl," but 2012 looks mighty iffy for a 104-game series that has been interrupted in the last 95 years only for two world wars.
"You'd like to play (Pitt), but there's also the question of where will Pitt be playing next year, the Big East or the ACC, and how the game might fit whatever their schedule is," Parsons said. "You have to work with what works, not always what you really would like to do."
Parsons also said the Mountaineers really would "hate to give up the intersectional" series like LSU (2010-11, Florida State (2012-13) and Michigan State (2014-15), but that ultimately playing in a conference that has had eight of its 10 future members in the polls at one time or another this season might be daunting enough.
Parsons agreed that WVU will be able to get the seven home games it desires in those seasons when it has five Big 12 home dates, but the four-game seasons will be tougher to achieve that.
At some point down the road, the WVU schedule might look like this: nine Big 12 games, Pitt, Maryland and an FCS team. Parsons said that might be nice, but it also might not work.
"Right now," Parsons said, "everything's on the table."