Bob Huggins stole the show.
On an evening filled with good speakers, Huggins was the star of Thursday's Mountaineer Caravan, which saw more than 300 West Virginia University fans pack their way into J.P. Henry's Restaurant for a chance to meet Huggins, football coach Dana Holgorsen, athletics director Oliver Luck, Mountaineer announcer Tony Caridi and other members of the WVU athletic family.
"You know what I'm getting tired of?,'' Huggins asked. "All these sports writers asking me how we're going to adjust to being in the Big 12. I'm wondering how the Big 12 is going to adjust to us. We've been pretty good the past few years."
But that was just the setup line.
"You know what really makes me sick,'' he said. "Everyone talking about Dana scoring 70 points. Dana never scored any points. We were playing a basketball game the same time as the Orange Bowl when one of the fans behind our bench said the football team just scored 70 points. I called timeout and told our guys if they didn't score 71 points, I was going to run their butts off. We got 84 that day, but no one says Bob scored 84 points.''
And so it went.
This was a highly enjoyable and entertaining evening.
Although the members of WVU's contingent were the stars of the show, former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer did a great job serving as an ambassador for the Big 12.
Switzer, whose book "Son of a Bootlegger'' is a must read, praised West Virginia.
"I don't see Oklahoma and Texas being dominant teams over West Virginia,'' said Switzer. "I hated losing Nebraska to the Big Ten. That really surprised me. West Virginia was the only program that made any sense to replace them. It may not make geographic sense, but it was the one team that could be competitive.''
Switzer felt right at home.
"These fans have been wonderful to me,'' he said.
Parkersburg fans have been wonderful to WVU.
Eric Fitzer, who serves as the chairman for the annual Coaches Caravan, said this event not only attracted a record turnout, but also raised a record amount of money for WVU athletic scholarships.
Fitzer attributed the level of success to increased sponsorships. It also helps that Huggins never has missed the event since becoming head coach and Holgorsen has been here both years since arriving in Morgantown.
It was my pleasure to spend a few minutes with Oliver Luck, who has made a number of bold and daring moves since replacing Ed Pastilong as WVU's AD. Luck is responsible not only for the hiring of Holgorsen, but also for being proactive in selling WVU to the Big 12.
Luck has no idea how the new college football playoff system will work, but he says West Virginia now will be in a much stronger position to qualify, thanks its Big 12 affiliation. Amen to that.
Contact Dave Poe at email@example.com