So, I just got home from another drive by the stadium to observe what is really going on with the work on the exterior. They have, indeed, removed ALL of the metal skin from the north side of the stadium; the only part remaining tonight is the metal “UH” in the middle of the north wall (three or four of the much smaller red canvas banners are still up, but I suspect they will be coming down, probably tomorrow).
And that leads me to some profound conclusions:
They are not “finishing the metal skin”; no, they have removed the part already in place. I can think of only one reason they would do that: they intend to build an entirely new outer wall further away from the playing field - they are getting ready to expand the stadium, just as Tillman Fertitta said they would do when we get into a P5 conference.
That means they already know we are getting into one of those P5 conferences, almost certainly the Big12-4+2 - - - well, it could be one of the others, but not at all likely.
That north side will probably be without the metal skin for this entire season, and expansion will begin at the end of the season - to be finished by the beginning of next season. Hopefully, that expansion will include not only more seats, but also proper build out of other things: better and easier access to the upper concourse; restrooms and concessions on that concourse; proper ventilation - if not air conditioning - in all restrooms; ribbon boards all the way to the end of the upper stands - on both sides; and if we get real lucky, even water fountains!
After suffering many doubts in recent days, I am now convinced that we already know we will get in a P5 conference - and in the next few weeks!
If that does not happen, my disappointment will have no bounds.