MORGANTOWN - Was it really just last week Oliver Luck revealed what we'd long suspected when the West Virginia athletic director said he would put his athletic department's third-tier multimedia rights out for bid?
And was it really just a week ago that we were racing for our dictionaries, er, Google to see what exactly made up that third tier?
Was it really just last week that we learned Luck and the Mountaineers were ready to check the marketplace to see what they might get paid for the rights to everything but the football and men's basketball games that will belong to ESPN and Fox?
The question is asked not because of timeliness, but relevancy. The third tier threatened to flip college athletics upside down over the weekend.
That was when a gentleman named Andy Haggard pushed the third tier to the front row.
News of the Atlantic Coast Conference's new television deal began to spill across web and sports pages and the details weren't particularly appealing. The money wasn't said to be great, or much improved over where it had been, and the bigger paydays were thought to be down the road.
That was a problem because this business is about immediacy. Things change fast. Not two years ago, the Big 12 was on life support. Not one year ago, a lot of people wanted to see WVU in that ACC.
What really had Haggard haranguing the deal, though, was a detail overlooked by many. The chairman of Florida State University's Board of Trustees was befuddled about the forfeiture of the third-tier rights.
"It's mind-boggling and shocking," Haggard told WarChant.com, the Rivals.com site covering the Seminoles. "How can the ACC give up third tier rights for football but keep them for basketball?"
It turns out Haggard misspoke, or was misinformed. The television deal doesn't appropriate those third-tier rights like he suggested. The quote nevertheless says a mouthful about the alleged divide in that league between the football and basketball schools, the one that apparently expanded when Pitt and Syracuse were welcomed in from the Big East in September.
Haggard's implication was that the ACC had catered to the basketball schools - Duke, North Carolina, Pitt, Syracuse, etc. - and allowed them to keep something that was worth more for them than it would be for other schools.
And those other schools would be football schools - think Virginia Tech and Clemson - that were forced to give away its third-tier asset.
The truth is ESPN/ABC, the ACC's television partner and holder of first- and second-tier rights, doesn't have any of the third-tier properties and the individual schools are free to do with them what they choose.
And, in truth, there isn't a lot there. It's one football game, maybe two, a year and only a handful of basketball games.