The way I read it (based on him referring to Top 70 or so atletics departments) is that some other schools will be clamoring to align with the Big 5 to get the big revenue.
Right now we have:
ACC - 15
SEC - 14
Big XII - 10
Big Ten -12
PAC-12 - 12
totaling 63 schools
There are about 7 more out there -
UConn, Rutgers, Louisville, BYU, Boise State, maybe a few others in the Big East.
If the ACC or SEC were to go to 16, or B1G or PAC were to go to 14, or the Big XII were to go to 12 or 14, the schools being added would come from that group.
Despite statements to the contrary, if the ultimate plan is for Notre Dame to join ACC for all sports (including FB), a 16th school would make sense AT THAT TIME.
Maybe at some point, the Big Ten gets an urge to move into the Northeast, and go afer UConn & Rutgers.
The Big XII might ultimately convince themselves they ae leaving money on the table by not going to 12 and having a CCG.
If they proceed with expansion and don't try to raid another Big 5 conference, then they would likely add teams from that same group.
My feeling is that is what the Mizzou AD (Mike Alden, who was instrumental with getting Mizzou into the SEC) was referring to, as possibilities for the next 2 years.
If that occurred, then the Big 5 would essentially be "filled out" and the remaining movement would trickle down to the next level.
Don't see much impact on MAC, Sun-Belt, CUSA. (Sun-Belt may add Appalachian State and Georgia Southern over next 2-5 years).
Big East wants to go to 14 or even 16 as part of finalizing this new TV contract; plus the BE could be raided by Big 5 (above).
If the BE reels in Air Force, that may result in MWC having to add NMSU and/or Idaho, at least for FB only (I think that's what those schools are holding out hope for right now...).
Tute, you need to factor in pecking order within the Big 5. For instance, is the Big Ten were to reach out to a number of Big 12 schools, they would jump ship in a heartbeat. So it's not like the Big Ten is limited to only, say, Rutgers and Uconn.
Tute, I am glad you list the numbers, and reflected on the possibilities of whom may be promising for joining the Big 5 conference group. In general, that's the impression.
Quinn, I like your point. What's to stop the Big 5 group from raids/defections on each other another time or more? We know discontent can happen, and there shall be certain schools always looking for better fiscal arrangements and associations.
I have a few question anyone may respond to:
(1) Folks talk about 14 and 16 for conference sizes. Suppose, for example, ND really does completely join the ACC for all sports down the road, but the ACC decides to hold at 15.
Can the #15 work for conference size? The MAC worked with 13. I can see whereby 15 is fine for bb, but how could a "pod" system of 3 "5s'" work in fb? How could the two conference members be selected for a CCG using a pod system or two divisions with one division having one more member than the other?
(2) 12 sounds comfortable given the # of conference fb & bb games to be played. 14 sounds stretched, but workable if the new additions bring market value as the SEC pursued. But at 16, do the rumblings begin for some kind of split---the "haves" stike out from the rest? At 16, would not the argument increase that certain conference members have easier schedules than some others?
(3) Is there to be a huge divide as to what constitutes the Big 5 and the Big East, plus others? The way broadcasting contracts have gone, and how top bowls are re-structuring their selections, it looks that way. So is it indeed that certain schools outside the Big 5 are earmarked to be absorbed to really make the elite club crystal clear?
I am not seeing that the elite conferences all want to be the same numbers; and note that some such as the PAC12 have such constrained criteria that any adding would be very difficult to achieve.