CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It sounds like alphabet soup, but it might not be music to those 'Eers.
It's about the AQ in the BCS and how it might affect WVU and every other program in the so-called "top six" conferences.
One of the major reasons West Virginia decided to leave its Big East home for a berth in the Big 12 was the uncertainty about a potential loss of automatic qualification in the Bowl Championship Series for the Big East.
Well, it could turn out that getting to the BCS from the Big East - whoever plays football in it - might be easier than through the football-tougher Big 12.
That could occur if BCS leadership decides to eliminate all AQ berths when rules and guidelines are set for a new contract with bowls and networks beginning with the 2014 season.
In other words, this conference realignment game might be even more of an unexpected crapshoot for the Mountaineers. In the Big 12, they eventually will get more than twice the amount of current revenue-sharing dollars (and also spend more in team travel), but also could face a rugged road trying to get to a BCS game again.
At a BCS meeting in San Francisco earlier this week attended by conference commissioners and university presidents, BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock said "everything under the sun" is on the table, including eliminating automatic qualification to conferences and/or changing the amount of at-large bids.
"I don't think any of us are happy that the BCS is one of the contributing factors to conference realignment," Hancock said. "I don't think anybody ever imagined that when the BCS was created, that the BCS could ever be a contributing factor in realignment."
WVU followed Pitt and Syracuse (to the ACC) and TCU (Big 12) in Big East exit decisions, and Louisville and perhaps even Cincinnati - considering talk that the Big 12 might expand again for 2013-14 - might bolt the Big East.
But if a decision is made to eliminate all automatic qualification (as well as allow a conference to take more than two BCS bids, the current limit), the road to the BCS could be easier from the Big East - with an 11-1 or 10-2 season and high poll ranking - than from the Big 12 where the road regularly runs through Oklahoma and Texas schools.
The Bowl Championship Series was instituted for the 1998 season.
West Virginia has finished in the BCS standings six times since 2002, with an average ranking of 14.3 (the high was ninth in 2007).
In those six seasons that WVU appeared, however, there have been a total of 11 appearances in the standings ahead of WVU by schools that will join the Mountaineers in the Big 12 in 2012-13 (that's WVU's desire).
In this week's BCS standings, six of the 10 "future" Big 12 teams appear (Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Kansas State, TCU, Baylor, Texas), while a 7-3 West Virginia (nor any other Big East team) is in that top 25.