This I don't really get. Is this an agreement that came into place after the SEC poached two schools directly from the Big 12, including one in the Big 12's primary state? And if no schools can leave the Big 12 for thirteen years, then what is the benefit to the Big 12 of any such agreement? Are they really worried about the SEC scooping up Houston or SMU?
That section of the article was poorly worded; The gentlemen's agreement is not "Big 12 with SEC" but just in the SEC. The conference doesn't want to add schools in states that already have schools, so they aren't adding Florida St, Miami, Clemson, or GT. If the SEC doesn't add them, then their only option is Big 12. Big 10 is too far, and Big East is almost a non-entity at this point.
I'm not sure getting to 16 is as essential for the Big 12 or Pac 12, so I think we'll have four stronger conferences and then a weak ACC.
If there is future movement in this round, I think the cookies crumble this way.
Big 10 adds two of UVa, UNC or Syracuse
SEC adds NCst and VaTech
ACC adds UConn and Cinci, stays at 12
At that point, things will cool down and the Big 12 has all the time in the world to decide if they want to stand pat, or to go to 14 by adding four ACC schools: FSU, GT, Clemson, and either Miami or Pitt.
If the Pac-12 ever gives up on the high-end schools that Larry Scott is likely targeting (Texas, Oklahoma, Notre Dame), and feels the need to go to 16 without them, I would imagine San Diego State and UNLV are the first two options. They bring huge new TV markets into the league and fit geographically. The California schools won't love it, but they added Utah and I wouldn't have believed that 5 years ago, either. If the home run options aren't there, and they have to expand, those are the two schools I'd bet on.
In the end, I think the Pac12 sit at 12, scan the landscape, see how the other conferences handle at 14-16. Basically the same thing when everyone went to 12 and the Pac-10 expanded years later. They are going to wait until something good happens; either a team in the Big 12 wants out, or a mid-major in a solid market (UNLV, Nevada, New Mexico) pulls a Utah and establishes itself. UCLA, Stanford and USC already have a big enough presence in SD that SDSU isn't needed. Boise isn't a big enough market, but if they ever make or win an NCG, all bets are off though.
BYU is established, but Pac12 already have the Utah market. The only threat with BYU is the Big 12 grabbing them, but I don't think it'll happen. If the Big 12 expands, they are going east, not west.
Edited by Infield Infidel, 30 November 2012 - 02:11 PM.