24-School SEC idea:
Pod 1: Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech
Pod 2: South Carolina, Clemson, North Carolina, North Carolina State
Pod 3: Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi, Mississippi State
Pod 4: Louisiana State, Arkansas, Missouri, Texas A&M
Pod 5: Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, West Virginia
Pod 6: Texas, Texas Christian, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State
Pod 1: No more splitting the talent-rich states of Florida and Georgia with the ACC.
Pod 2: Add the State of North Carolina, significantly improve SEC basketball.
Pod 3: No point in separating heated rivals. Alabama-Tennessee is now an ESPN2-level thing at best. The ones here are ESPN and CBS only.
Pod 4: A pod that covers a lot of territory, but makes sense.
Pod 5: One pod has to be the worst and this is it. The basketball here is really good though.
Pod 6: Two "ace jewels". Texas Tech is too far away and Dallas/Fort Worth is more fun away team fans than Lubbock. TCU's highs in football are much higher than Tech's.
Where's Virginia? Hey, it's not perfect, but for 24 schools, this is the best I can come up with.
I've tossed around a similar idea before with a lot of the same schools. A conference or alliance arrangement that included all of these schools would borderline on a college football monopoly as they would have the power to flex some considerable muscle in dictating their (and for that matter everyone else's) television value. If anyone could pull something like this off it would be the SEC. I think the natural result is that the Big Ten and PAC 12 would go into panic mode and scramble to grow their own leagues.
As much as expansionist junkies like to salivate over ideas like this, I'm not sure we will ever see it. The SEC likes to tote its exclusiveness and eliteness and I'm not sure they open their doors like this when they already are in great spot. think about the overall expansion climate out there:
Texas and Oklahoma are the only blue blood jewels out there that bring great value and strong football history.
Florida St, Miami, Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Louisville schools are seen as duplicated markets in the eyes of the SEC. They seem to avoid these schools like the plague and their instate rivals want to keep them down and at a disadvantage.
Virginia and North Carolina schools only are intriguing because the SEC wants subscription money for the SEC Network from those populous states.
Who knows how long Baylor or TCU will stay good. OSU and TTU don't offer much. WVU literally only got into the Big 12 because they were contractually obligated to have a 10th school. The SEC passed on them before already.