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A fly in the whiskey-scented ointment of West Virginia's otherwise hype-heavy offseason--a zillion coaches cruising in to learn the spread option, the afterglow of a shocking Sugar Bowl defeat of Georgia, and scads of hype raining down from media--are the ongoing contract negotiations between head coach Rich Rodriguez and the West Virginia admins. The article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette nabs a peek into just how contentious negotiations between the Suits and The Head have become.

A spokesman said it's athletic department policy to refrain from publicly discussing such personnel matters as contracts. The source said, however, that athletic director Ed Pastilong has been replaced in negotiations by university president David C. Hardesty and general counsel Tom Dorer.

Meaning that Ed and Rich aren't tossing back Frescas and getting all happy back-slappy during contract negotiations, which still fails to explain why West Virgina won't budge on the buyout clauses and coach raises making the negotiation such a thorny one. Rodriguez already makes less than possibly five of the other coaches in the Big East, including--pause, wait for salt in wound--the Wannstache. Square this disparity with The Head going Continental Tire-->Gator-->Sugar Bowl, winning a share of the Big East title three years in a row, and coaching a balls-out season last year while capping it with the highest ranking in school history at fifth in the nation, and there's two guys who'd like to place you on retainer waiting for your call in Morgantown.

The massive head holding the highly desirable brain of Rich Rodriguez.