FSU to the Big 12 – “It is Inevitable”
So, according to that article, there will be a gradual assimilation of the ACC by the Big Ten, Big 12, and SEC which could very well leave Boston College, Pitt, Syracuse, and Wake Forest on the outside looking in.
If that does happen, I think it will be a gradual annexation of up to 10 of the ACC schools which hypothetically would be:
Florida State, Clemson in the first wave to the Big 12 if not also Georgia Tech and Miami (assumption)
Then Virginia Tech and N.C. State to the SEC, also assuming that North Carolina declines an invite.
Finally, the Big Ten inviting Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Duke.
Expansion could happen in 4 waves with the first being FSU and Clemson, second Georgia Tech and Miami, 3rd VT and NCSU, and the fourth wave being the Big Ten additions.
It could be that Notre Dame is still allowed to maintain relevance by staying independent because they ARE Notre Dame and their ties to the Big Ten and Pac-12 making them. I have a hard time seeing the Big 12 and SEC forcing them out of a four team playoff if they are ranked accordingly, regardless if the qualifications to participate in a four team playoff is that you have to be a conference champion. Just like Notre Dame had special rules written into the BCS for them, they could easily have rules written into the Final Four for them.
Back to the main point, though. If those 10 teams are swallowed up in the next wave of realignment it will probably be gradual so that the ACC can still survive as a conference - much like the Big East was allowed. In doing so, though, it would mean that Boston College and UConn would have to share residence in the same conference (something neither school seems to want but, in these times, in order maintain some form of relevance they would be forced to).
The ACC would drop from being one of the most prestigious academic conferences to just another run-of-the-mill conference based on the East coast. Starting with a base of BC, Pitt, Cuse, and WF they could invite UConn and Rutgers once the first two teams leave. Louisville and Cincinnati during the second wave; Temple and South Florida on the 3rd, and finally, the fourth and final wave it could be Central Florida and Memphis.
Now if the Big 12 chooses to jump to 16 then I think they would target Louisville and Cincinnati over any combination of Syracuse, Pitt, Wake Forest, and Boston College. If that happens then two more teams would be needed to join the ACC. Those two teams could be any combination of UMass (doubtful because of Boston College), East Carolina, Southern Miss, Tulane, S.M.U., and Houston.
For arguments sake let's say East Carolina and Southern Miss are invited.
The new Big East-looking ACC would be:North
It's a strong basketball conference and would likely be the top mid-major conference depending on what happens out West. It could be a glimpse of the future of the ACC, allthough there are a lot of assumption placed in this scenario