MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - In the middle of last week, when he was simultaneously hoping for financing for a new baseball stadium and packing a bag for the Big 12 Conference meetings in Kansas City, West Virginia Athletic Director Oliver Luck marched in line with all the others who predicted not much would come out of that gathering of the league's ADs and presidents.
"'Boring' and 'uneventful' are words I'd never use because there are a lot of things that go on amongst a lot of people," Luck said, "but I don't think you'll see anything earth-shattering."
Days later, the earth remains intact and the conclusion of the meetings merely answered a few questions to which we thought we already had the answers.
How much money can WVU expect to make? Well, the Big 12 said it will give about $19 million to every school for the 2010-11 year - and it later reminded everyone the Mountaineers won't make their full share until the 2015-16 year. The new television deal, which is still unsigned, figures to be more lucrative. How much? Maybe $5-6 million more per school per year.
That $10 million loan the Big 12 extended to bail WVU out of the Big East? It's earning between 2 and 3 percent interest and pays the Big East $1 million a year. However, the Big 12 will likely look the other way after five years, which would confirm the Big 12 was the "very generous" and very anonymous donor WVU referenced upon settling up with the Big East.
More payouts? The Big 12 is actually against the NCAA's proposed stipend to student-athletes, though WVU was preparing to provide $2,000 to its student-athletes.
"We should never do anything to establish an employee-employer relationship," incoming Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. "There are places you can go and play for money, but colleges and universities are not among them."
The league's official position on the college football playoff? The schools prefer the model in which the top four teams are ranked by a human committee and play in semifinal games. The winners then play for the national championship.
None of that is really riveting, though. In fact, most of it was expected. Yet probably a lot of people expected some sort of certainty about expansion, or at least traction toward an eventual outcome.
Oh, one resolution was offered, but it's one to dismiss.
For now, the league is committed to staying at 10 teams. And for now it's wise to recall past lessons learned from this burgeoning business of college athletics: Don't believe it. Not when the decision makers pledge to 10 teams in one breath, but in the next admit that, yeah, they'd listen to Notre Dame if the Fighting Irish came crawling.
Sticking with 10 just doesn't seem realistic, not with the way teams and conferences are gobbling up all the power. The Big 12 might be at peace with 10 teams and the round robin schedule in football and the double round robin in basketball, but 10 isn't the number that matters now.
It's not 12 or 14 or even 16.