As the SEC's final hours as a 12-team league play out, the focus has already shifted to a bigger and presumably better future.
Wednesday night the SEC threw a gala welcome for Texas A&M and Missouri in Atlanta. Coaches, officials and alumni of the SEC's new members whooped it up in Buckhead, complete with mascots.
You know Reveille and Truman, don't you? One's a real collie. The other is Tony the Tiger's cousin.
Reveille and Smoky will sniff each other out if Tennessee and A&M ever get around to a football game.
As for Truman, it's not as if the SEC needed another Tiger. At least Truman won't take your arm off if he gets a chance like LSU's Mike would.
Anyway, it was, by all accounts, quite a display of Southern hospitality.
"This is like walking into a bowl game,'' an Atlanta columnist quoted Aggie football coach Kevin Sumlin as telling basketball coach Billy Kennedy. "Or the Final Four.''
Which is an opening to pose the question:
When will the Aggies and Tigers ever get back to Atlanta for a football game?
The Chick-fil-A Bowl doesn't count.
When there's a ballgame involved, the Southern Hospitality is over.
Actually, the fresh faces didn't have to wait until September to find that out. LSU's women recently eliminated first the Aggies and then the Tigers from the NCAA softball tournament.
LSU won a Super Regional on Mizzou's home field. Even the Geaux Tiger fans left an impression with their intensity.
"For softball,'' Missouri AD Mike Alden told the Columbia Daily Tribune, "that was amazing to me.''
Wait until he gets a load of a football weekend.
It will be interesting to see how the Aggies and new Tigers fit in once the ball is in the air. Both have experienced big-time success and not just here and there.
Neither will finish last in their first SEC football season. Missouri will be all Tennessee can handle in Neyland Stadium on Nov. 10. The Tigers have an overwhelmingly winning record — 20-8-1 — against the SEC.
As to acclimating the new members, there have been hits and misses.
The SEC will hold its 2013 outdoor track meet at Missouri. However, neither Missouri nor Texas A&M were included in the next SEC/Big East Challenge in basketball. The omission was blamed on the Big East not committing enough teams.
Florida football coach Will Muschamp has been to A&M before, wearing Texas Longhorn gear. His recent quote at a Gator booster event went over well:
"Have you ever been to College Station? It'll be the only time you go.''
College Station mayor Nancy Berry replied with a video extolling the virtues of her fair city. This is relevant because Florida plays at A&M on Sept. 8.
Missouri probably had mixed feelings about this week's news that the SEC has re-connected with the Independence Bowl. The Tigers have played there three times in the past nine years.
So Shreveport is one place they'll feel at home.
Throwing another party in Atlanta? That's a different story.