Once Texas A&M and the SEC complete their long-gestating courtship, all attention will turn to the mystery 14th school that will be needed to balance out the divisions in the conference.
Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports, not one to throw around rumors carelessly, says that Big East member West Virginia and Big 12 member Missouri have emerged as the front-runners for that highly-valued spot.
If true, it confirms the "gentleman's agreement" thought to be in place among SEC schools. That understanding is said to ensure that a new SEC member doesn't come from within the same state as a current one, ruling out schools like Florida State and Clemson.
For all the coach-burning jokes, West Virginia would bring with them a fantastic football program and tradition. They'd also bring local character Bob Huggins and a solid basketball program. While not "South South," no one is going to challenge West Virginia's southern street cred anytime soon. Their AD, Oliver Luck, has been outspoken about his school in previous realignment discussions and it's not hard to believe that he would be pushing for such a move.
Meanwhile, everyone knows that Missouri has been a free-agent-in-the-making for over a year now. The Tigers practically threw themselves at the Big Ten in the last go-round. A chance to go to the SEC would be critical for them, since they're likely to get left looking for table scraps otherwise once Oklahoma and Texas depart.
Of course, this is all still just based on a tweet, even if it comes from a respected source. Stay tuned...