This might be the best college football season ever. You don't even have to wait until Saturday to see a Hail Mary pass.
Conference realignment has turned desperate. University officials have nightmares of their conference disintegrating before dawn and their school being left with nothing but a take-it-or-leave-it offer from Conference USA. They are responding accordingly.
There's enough suspense for two seasons. You have games on the weekend and mind games all week along. Rumors are flying faster than Oklahoma's offense.
The ACC is going after every school but Southern Cal. What might be left of the Big 12 and Big East are going after each other.
The Kansas City Star reported Tuesday that the SEC had invited Missouri of the Big 12 to join the conference. The SEC then issued a denial. There also was a disheartening report that West Virginia of the Big East had been turned down by both the SEC and ACC.
Since Virginia Tech of the ACC seems content being a football school in a basketball conference, West Virginia had become my favorite SEC candidate.
The Mountaineers are competitive in football and basketball and have a passionate fan base. They also have a mascot who's packing.
He wears a coonskin cap and totes a rifle. What's more SEC than that?
It gets better.
He doesn't just carry the rifle. He fires it.
No one briefed me on the firing aspect of the mascot's duties before I covered a basketball game in Morgantown. That left me unprepared for his pregame warning shot, which — aside from a Wimp Sanderson courtside tirade and Nolan Richardson's canary-yellow suit — is the scariest thing I've ever witnessed in a college basketball arena.
Missouri doesn't offer that kind of firepower.
Never mind that it would add many more television sets than West Virginia and give the SEC a football program that has averaged nine victories per season for the last six years. There are some obvious disadvantages to taking Missouri.
Texas A&M is already SEC bound. If you have any respect for geography, you would need to move Auburn to the East. Where would that leave one of the SEC's most prominent rivalries?
If Auburn would move eastward, Alabama surely would become its natural non-divisional opponent. And the annual Alabama-Tennessee game could become a casualty of expansion.
There's also the mascot issue to consider. Does the SEC really need a third team of Tigers?
I'm willing to compromise, though. My terms: Missouri dumps the tiger, give its new mascot a firearm and a coonskin cap, and dubs itself the Missouri Militia,
Otherwise, give West Virginia a shot.