I've never been to the Missouri Valley office at 1818 Chouteau Avenue, St. Louis, Mo., but through the miracle of Google you can get a pretty good idea to what it looks like. So what's it look like?
It's a quaint two-story older building with a Kilbourne Group renovated touch that could just as well look at home in downtown Fargo, probably something along the lines of Eighth Street just south of Maine Avenue. It's hard to figure out where the front door is by the photo, but maybe it's in the back somewhere.
And that could probably best describe Wichita State's dalliance with resurrecting its football program. Don't look for the Shockers to make an appearance at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome anytime soon.
The Missouri Valley Football Conference isn't interested.
Even if Wichita State is a member of the Missouri Valley Conference for most other sports.
The Mo Valley Football and the Mo Valley are in essence one in the same. Patty Viverito, for instance, is the senior associate member of the Missouri Valley, although she's much better known around here as the commissioner of the Missouri Valley Football Conference-North Dakota State's football league.
Asked if the fact Wichita State being a member of the Missouri Valley would give the Shockers a home field advantage for Valley football membership and Viverito almost laughed.
"It would have to be a pretty compelling case," she said. "We're not interested in somebody using us as a stepping stone, that is pretty clear. What they've said publicly has not indicated any type of love for our level of football."
It's as if the Missouri Valley Football Conference office could be located in downtown Youngstown, not on Chouteau Avenue. The commissioner said she was not impressed with comments from the Wichita State president that indicated the school's aim was FBS with most rumors pointing toward the Mountain West Conference for all sports. CBS Sports reported Wichita approached the Mountain West about membership.
"The politics would become strange," Viverito said of her office running two leagues, "but we need to understand if the president's motivation to get to FBS is to change conferences. If they have the appearance that they're using the Missouri Valley Football conference to get to a place where they can leave the Missouri Valley, then I would say both league's interests are pretty well aligned. Why would we want to make it easy for them to leave to another league?"
Viverito is not risking an Old Dominion scenario, which brought football back in 2009, joined the FCS Colonial Athletic Association in 2011 to get its program going and then bolted for the FBS Conference USA in 2014. Probably a more realistic footprint for Wichita, which last had football in 1986, is to do what North Carolina-Charlotte did, which was to spend 2013 and 2014 as an FCS independent before being accepted by Conference USA last season.
Missouri Valley football is at 10 members and life has never been better. It's the power of the FCS, thanks to NDSU's five straight titles, a weakening of the CAA and the Big Sky Conference's love affair with offense over defense.
The Big Sky is loaded with teams and would not seem to be interested in a Wichita. The Southland Conference could be a geographical possibility, but the Shockers' basketball program would want no part of that.
That would leave the Missouri Valley Football Conference, and right now, don't let that thought hit you in the rear on the way out of the Missouri Valley office front door.
Wherever that may be.