Wow Lash, you sort of took a U-turn with your sentiment. You may be correct in that many BE fans and posters on the INTERNET are pleased with the new BE bb arrangement and are comfortable with the 8 for fb. Certainly, that would be what the BE would want to portray, even if there may be silent agendas operating within.
I do agree with your point that with the exception of Notre Dame, all BCS type schools are already in BCS conferences, in terms of "reasonable" consideration for an further BE expansion. Certainly schools such as Utah and BYU, a case could be made they belong in a BCS-type conference.
Actually, my point has been persistent, in that if the BE was looking to schools such as Memphis, UAB, or Southern Miss, that is getting beyond their logical footprint, and is expansion just for expansion sake, or to achieve a championship game. While Memphis VS UCONN would usually make for interesting bb games; for football, it could pose for competitive games, but limited in driven excitement. At some point, geographic logic has to kick-in.
Where your points, Lash, may pose a concern are on two fronts: (a) The football schools, while not publicly advocating a split, do prefer a balanced (4 home, 4 away) conference schedule that 9 fb playing schools would provide (all playing 8 conference games). This issue may become more acute with schools being able to schedule 12 games per year in the future. (b) While the BE's BCS status is secure, for now, and they may be happy being the mythological #6 in the power images among the BCS, they cannot become too complacent with this in the future. Taking the results of last year, if the MWC, for example, produces a fine Utah team each year; and the BE delivers a mediocre Pittsburgh each year for the BCS, hypothetically speaking, there will be mounting pressure on the BCS, regardless of the tweaking in behalf of non-BCS conferences. It is understood the BE had a transitional situation last year; but with just eight teams, chances are greater, comparatively, that certain years, the BE's BCS entry may not be a top ten type team. Of course it could happen with other BCS conferences as well, but with more teams, a certain probability may exist in their favor---at least over an extended period of time.
Will the BE bb group allow the fb schools to add a #9 (other than ND or a currently non-associated BE school) if they come to the point of demanding it? While it would strengthen fb voting block in relation to the bb schools, it could also further satisfy the fb schools and forestall a split.
If Notre Dame FULLY joined BE fb, that would be perfect for the current BE structure and could hush any serious speculation of a split. In my opinion, it would be a plus for ND scheduling as well. However, we know this will not happen due to Notre Dame's firm desire to remain independent.
TS2 may be correct on the point of the BE holding together and looking within, or regionally, for greater scheduling contributions. I seriously doubt, though, Villanova would be in any position to deliver anything for BE fb in the near future, and Notre Dame, Army, and Navy will remain officially independent for at least another five years.
BCHokie reiterated a good point. The 8 fb BE schools, collectively, are also extraordinary bb schools. If fact, they look better for bb than they do for fb. Their profiles certainly do not look so dependent on the bb-only schools to look formidable. The bb only schools also look strong among themselves (for bb).
Whether the 16 team configuration holds together and handles the revenue, geographical, and priority issues in a pleasing way, remains to be seen. It is just starting out with the new arrangement, and there will be a diversity of schools and interests to keep satisfied. The BE has not been without its past squabbles, so it will all be followed with curiosity. Obviously, conferences that are "all sports institutions" with somewhat homogeneous profiles, have their differences too; but, by design, the BE may lend itself to greater internal posturing and positioning.
Who knows what will happen in the BE five or more years from now. Chances are strong though, it will look different.