ESPN article with comments from MSU AD regarding possible future Big Ten expansion at http://espn.go.com/college-football/sto ... advantages
Of course coming from ESPN sources, the theme is 16! 16! 16!
Sixteen-member, top mega-conferences would actually be more cost effective for ESPN (and others), while more lucrative for the major conferences. It's fewer "biggies" to contract with, and outlet distributions are more expansive which may allow enhanced flexibilitiy for coverages and timing.
Unless mindsets and circumstances change, for the B1G's next next media rights coming for 2017, I would not be suprised to see two more on-board by the time negotiations are in high gear. Conferences may, indeed, be waiting to see how the Maryland exit fee stuff goes.
Could Delany (B1G) and Slive (SEC) be having off-the-record discussions on how and when to conduct further carving-up of the ACC? Going 16 may come first, or at a similar time, from the B1G or the SEC. The PAC12 may not be first, unless that former plus-4 model which includes Texas with a subdued LHN, is placed back on the table. The B12 is just at 10, so them finding six plausible others appears most unlikely for the start. Texas regularly explores for whatever is best to come their way as they see it.
This 16-member stuff is going to happen. And some of the others shall quickly follow suit. Personally, I don't like it.
University Presidents generally seem to be told just two things to get their support for expansion: (a) the picked candidates to be added are "academically enhancing"; and (b) each of their schools shall be getting so much more money because of this expansion.
Even Alabama, traditionally very conservative, protective, and selective about expansion, had a high source say that in-footprint opposition to Florida State (& potentially Clemson) joining the SEC may need to be re-considered if expansion goes further.
If the ACC cannot draw a red line with its core of North Carolina and Virginia schools; an ultimate ouch!