IF, and that is a big if, the SEC did eventually acquire, say, NC State, whom would be #14, assuming no other ACC schools would be in play?
I think the SEC is looking for 2 ACC schools to get to 16, but what do I know? If they were to pick up North Carolina St as #15 and no other ACC schools were in play, they would have to look at the XII.
Texas: does the SEC really want to deal with them?
Texas Tech: too far
TCU: brings in the DFW market, but their dominant football program has waned in the past couple years
Baylor: I actually wouldn't hate to see this, Waco sits between DFW and Austin and there are plenty of Baylor grads around the state; however, Baylor and Texas A&M had some bad blood when the Aggies were making the move to the SEC
Oklahoma: would be a strong addition, but would they go without Texas or Oklahoma St?
Oklahoma St: would be strong addition as well, but are they too "little brother" compared to Oklahoma?
Kansas/Kansas St: with Missouri, the Kansas City market is already hit by the SEC
West Virginia: it is a new state contiguous with the SEC, but there is no market unless you somehow count Pittsburgh? Plus their once strong football and basketball have both fallen off the map lately
Iowa St: just...no
Personally, I would like to see Baylor. They are upgrading facilities (new football stadium coming), have recent success in both football and basketball, and would not be in any plans for a mass exodus to the PAC which means they would do whatever the SEC asked which may be good leverage for the SEC.
Opps, I need to remember to proof my numbers, not just words, or take my meds sooner. Yeah, the #15 & #16 stuff.
I agree, hypothetically, there are options but all seem conditional.
Much could depend on how the 'pairs' could or would break in the B12 and what the PAC12, B1G, and the B12 itself, plan to do.
I view Texas, TTU, OU, and OSU as not plausible options much along the lines you mentioned. If the Okie schools split, which is unlikely, maybe there is a slight option there. If Texas does go somewhere else, they'll want certain tag-alongs. The PAC12 could accommodate that if such materialized again for consideration. The B1G would have more limitations for addressing it.
I don't see the SEC interested in Baylor, TCU, and SMU. Though high on academics, Rice's fb and bb achievements are below the standards preferred and fan support is comparatively small. Some of the same issues are evident with Tulane in Louisiana.
West Virginia is interesting. They are an outlier with the B12. While their market is modest as you pointed out, they deliver the best fan support (fb attendance figures) to the northeast outside of Penn State. That is a plus for them along with being a flag-ship contiguous to the northeast. On the other hand, the SEC is looking to further complement the academic side with expansion, and WVU doesn't offer much from that standpoint. Still, WVU is at a strategic juncture in terms of geography, and they have proven they can compete. Frankly, the ACC were fools for not taking them IMO.
Iowa State is next to Mizzou and appears to have good fan support given their long struggles in fb. Academically, they are an AAU member. But geographically and along with some cultural dimensions, they are too much removed for the SEC. It's hard to vision they could recruit in fb to SEC levels and be consistently competitive in the SEC. Their B12 record confirms it. Since the B1G does not want ISU, I expect the school desires that the B12 holds together as much as anything.
Kansas or Kansas State? I read a credible source during the last expansion go-round, that the SEC was not interested in going there. Some of the same issues involved as applies to ISU. The Mizzou-KU rivalry could be renewed, but that got canned, at least for awhile, when Mizzou left the B12.
Back to the ACC, if #16 became a SEC focus, and other preferred options were just not available, the SEC could drop their stance against in-state additions. In that situation, FSU or Clemson could be considered. I'd give GT and Miami as slight options, but probably better than L'ville (or Cincy outside the ACC).
Obviously, VPI would look to be a target to change their minds before pursuing in-state prospects.
As much as some may want to fix or add to the B1G, they best look outside of the current SEC. Besides the obvious and practical reasons, I say this in the context that Mizzou and Texas A&M now have a seat at the SEC table and they would have input in SEC expansion discussions and would weigh-in heavily, particularly regarding potential expansion candidates near/around them. This will be done in the context of potentially re-organizing and making shifts with divisions. If it is two to the east that's added, or one to the east and one to the west that's added, matters to the whole conference. Schools focus on what impacts themselves, individually, so appeasement is part of the process.