Fans can't dream the dreams and demand the demands they do around WVU and then complain about the things Luck must do to make those dreams attainable. This is about more than scoreboards and ribbon boards, suites and luxury seating, practice facilities and practice fields, bells and whistles, so on and so forth. It's perception and reputation and making sure both are at a level at least comparable to the best among peers or even superiors.
What's happened since school let out shines a light on all of that. WVU is selling beer. It's changed football coaches. It's taken on an odd football game in 2012.
The decision to play a Football Championship Subdivision school at FedEx Field next year is divisive, though for the wrong reasons. The only negative is playing this "home" game at a neutral site against an opponent from the lower division. That's it.
The thing about seven home games isn't a valid gripe. Not today.
Seven home games became a goal and something of a norm once the NCAA went to the 12-game regular season. It's just not going to be possible in the future when Texas Christian University joins the Big East next season and even less so if a 10th school signs on after. It's not going to be reasonable as these non-BCS programs demand a ransom, and one the Mountaineers can't afford like an Ohio State or Alabama can.
The opponent could be better than JMU, sure, but trust JMU wasn't the first option. And what if WVU blows the Dukes out and looks really, really good with so many people paying attention?
Fact is, WVU has only played seven home games seven times. It's a nice luxury for WVU and for the local economy, but it's no one's right. If nothing else, this is an opportunity for the WVU fans in that circle around Washington, D.C., to see their team in person as opposed to on television. Since when is this a bad idea?
Whatever happens to the local hotels and restaurants is, quite bluntly, collateral damage. It's not the sort of thing that should make Luck hesitate or even decline. There's too much to be gained by spending a very visible weekend - not just four quarters - in the metro Washington, D.C., area. And that doesn't even count the extra money WVU is guaranteed for leaving home.
Luck has a lot of chores, but propping up the economy isn't one of them, and Morgantown seems to be thriving and expanding quite nicely without basing itx entire existence on seven Saturdays.
Then again, the guy who's going out of his way to destroy civilization and deflate the economy may well have a solution that adds some prestige to his school and its facilities, but also puts money in local pockets.
WVU wants to start throwing concerts at Mountaineer Field. Last week the school worked out an agreement with the state's fire marshal to increase the amount of people permitted on the field from 3,500 to 6,000 and to have a stage at midfield.
Obviously, this isn't the sort of thing that can happen on a Friday before a home game or the Sunday after one. It will happen on a weekend when there's no football in town, or at all, and no occasion to otherwise stuff hotels and restaurants.
It's been a hidden source of revenue and appeal for many years, but the school and the arts and entertainment people believe it can thrive. Why the confidence-infused sudden change?
WVU can sell beer at concerts at Mountaineer Field and that controversial initiative suddenly makes a little more sense, not just because of the income, but because of the way WVU and Morgantown look as an attraction, a destination and, most importantly, a brand.
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.