They know it would make sense on many levels for Luck to take the job.
"It will be very hard for Oliver to say no," one administrator said.
This is not the say the Mountaineers are resigned to that outcome. They happen to believe their job is a good one and that it can challenge Luck in ways that Texas and its bank account cannot.
There are also political elements some want to believe can play a part in the process. Powers is not a universally liked figure at Texas and there are important people who would like to see him gone, so much so that they may be trying to make that happen now.
Would Luck be as popular now or as content later without Powers at Texas? Or would Luck be happier at WVU and, who knows, run one day for political office here?
There is also hope Luck is still obsessed with progressing WVU through what has been a choppy move to the new league, that he wants to finish the baseball stadium like he finished stadiums throughout Houston before, that he wants to help Dana Holgorsen with whatever the football coach needs to succeed, that he wants a clean conclusion to the multimedia rights deal that somehow spun out of his grasp and landed in court.
There is unquestionably a lot of work to be done, but there remains an equally strong belief inside WVU that Luck has accomplished plenty and could walk away knowing he made the school and the job better than when he arrived in June 2010. From there, the university can be expected to look long and far for Luck's replacement.
Clements, who was with Powers earlier this week for the Big 12's presidents meetings in Dallas, has had this occasion on his mind for quite some time now. He knows the names of people with whom he'd want to talk: Cincinnati Athletic Director Whit Babcock, Oregon Athletic Director Rob Mullens, Ohio Athletic Director Jim Schaus and Alabama Deputy Director of Athletics Shane Lyons will be mentioned because of their present roles and past ties to WVU.
Yet if he has to search, expect Clements to be enterprising. He'd be right to look for someone who can raise money and actualize projects, someone who's operated an organization and managed personnel, someone who can be authoritative in a meeting room and a locker room.
He locked in on Luck last time because Clements believed Luck was the only candidate for what Clements wanted and WVU needed done. Those things have either been accomplished or have been facilitated for a successor, which mean Clements can be choosier and let the job recruit itself like it could not last time.
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.