Whoever wins the contract - and we're still safe to assume it's going to be IMG College, for reasons I'll explain in a moment - has to do an enormous amount of work in a short time. No tasks are more critical than signing up affiliates, advertisers and production crews and then, you know, implementing all the things WVU wants to have in place.
The timing matters and you just wonder if the quality of the product the first year, or at least the first part of the first year, will be compromised by time constraints.
This is not to say it's impossible. In truth, advertising probably isn't too tricky because there is a priceless loyalty to WVU among so many sponsors. The winning firm will also have plenty of contacts to welcome to the fold - that's what makes IMG College an industry leader.
True, we're nearing the end of a fiscal year when June turns into July and decisions have to be made about spending money now and where to spend money later. It's fair to say some can't wait around to buy something that does not yet exist, but money will always be set aside for WVU.
A roster of television stations is easier to piece together than people want to admit because, though it helps, one does not have to own stations. You just need to assemble a list of affiliates. Radio affiliates might be harder to find, but only if you ignore the answer under your nose - and WVU would be losing a vital asset if it lost West Virginia Radio Corp. Say what you want in light of some recent actions, but what that group does with game broadcasts can stand next to and above its peers in college sports.
What remains interesting and, I assure you, topical is what West Virginia Radio Corp. President John Raese may do next. Only he knows. Let's not pretend there aren't hurt feelings on both sides of the table, though, and that future business might be a delicate proposition.
Raese also knows what WVU's reported deal was with IMG College. He could very easily go to, say, Learfield Sports and tell IMG College's top peer, "I've got the radio stations and I can get the television stations easier than people think. You handle the rest and we can submit an offer that meets all the requirements."
Back to those requirements, though. You can't read the RFP or catch a summary of what WVU wants and ignore the detail. It certainly sounds like what you'd imagine the prior contract with IMG College would have looked like, and that should more or less make you believe their union remains likely.
What WVU looks to have done is carefully create a description that's tailored to the capabilities of a company it's come to know. Perhaps cleverly, that leaves WVU with no choice but the choice it wanted all along.