Thanks Pounder as you obviously understand where I am coming from.
First point that needs to be made very clear and there are resources to back this up including MT. The Big East is not interested in expansion at this point.
Being an analyst by nature will require you to review and look at all angles before a final product is produced. Since there is not time line for a product (BE is not looking to expanding at this time) a true analyst will look at many scenarios and may come back to square one in the end.
Have to clarify something for Tigersharktwo as his BE contacts don't seem to have a pulse on the new BE. If you actually read my post, Tigersharktwo, it clearly is favoring the 16 basketball league. Where do you get killing the basketball league from that post. The points are coming from BE officials themselves. What would kill the 16 team basketball conference is performance. Performance translates into revenue which we will get back to latter in this post. Performance for basketball is measured one way by NCAA tournament. This impacts future TV schedules. Take WVU which went to the elite 8 and only overtime loss to new BE member Louisville prevented the school from final four has went from one national TV appearance to 11 and thats just in the pre season with four games planned for CBS. If Marquette, Depaul, Georgetown, Villanova continue to carry their wait and build NCAA bids, the football schools will benefit as well from the 16 team alignment. If the non football schools continue the past downward trend with the exception of Villanova, your going to soon have a very wide division in who makes the money verses who gets to share.
It all comes down to revenue. If the 16 schools make more money in basketball than 8 football schools could for basketball, why would you split if you don't need any football schools.
This leads back to revenue. BE has BCS membership and very good bowl deals far better than any non BCS conference. If the BE football schools average 3 million payout for BE champion, and 2 million for first place and 1 million for second place team, adding any new school other than Notre Dame will just reduce this revenue more. Why would you want to expand unless Penn State or Notre Dame were interested and could bring much revenue in the form of TV contracts.
If the 16 team basketball league does not live up to expectations (revenue wise), you will see the football schools lean toward a split. This is just common sense, however, BE is confirming this as well including MT.
Take Memphis for example as a 9th football members in all sports. The school would bring the Liberty bowl. How much better revenue is the Liberty over the Motor City or Toronto Bowl or eventually the Big Apple Bowl. Not much is being made on bowl deals. Take Memphis basketball, would the school bring that much more interest that the 8 football schools could not generate without an additional school. 8 Million would be the projected value and 9 million would be needed with a 9th football school. Would Memphis be able to bring 1 million interest to the BE when it can't do the same for Conf USA?
I try to read the pulse of where the conference thinking is now and may go in the future. Using as much facts as possible to determine any future direction.
If this makes me flip flop so be it. If man did not flip flop, we may never had a man to eventually walk on the moon or better yet America would never have been discovered. Some will not understand this comment and I will not try to bring everyone up to my level of thinking.
Bottom line at this point in new BE history. There is no benefit for the BE football schools to allow Villanova to move up and play football and share in football revenue that has been lowered quit a bit from Miami defection. The BE football schools already have the necessary 8 football schools and do not need any votes as no new football members are desired.
If you consider flip flop or I like to think looking at your options as they are today and not what is yesterday and could change tomorrow, the BE would split a keep only 8 football schools if the 16 basketball league does not pull its weight (financially).
Loss of Notre Dame schedules is being made up right now with many BE teams scheduling several Big 10, SEC, and of course always lots of ACC OOC games.
If the BE builds back football to close to old days with the help of BCS, will the BE need Notre Dame in the future to gain Gator Bowl. If each football school were losing a potential of 500,000 on basketball revenue that could be made up with 8 members split, how important would the Gator's 1.5 million be when a minor bowl could be just as useful just not as prestige.
Some BE folks surprise me when they stated that 12 would be the only way to generate money to warrant the extra schools sharing in the revenue. Maybe they have been paying attention to Gunnerfan and his analysis of potential revenue options.
Since most schools not in BCS conference east of the Mississippi river would not bring much TV interest, my idea of cherry picking the MWC for new markets was analyzed to see if 12 teams would be economical.
According to BE folks who have a pulse on what is going on in the conference, it will be the following three scenarios in the future.
Remain with all 16 members as revenue is better than 8 and Notre Dame continues to provide benefits with Bowls and partial football schedules.
Split into 8 all sports conference with existing 8 BE members.
Or find a method to interest the networks to pay for the justification of expanding to 12 members including a football championship.
I only see two possibilities in this scenario. Notre Dame with Army/Navy/ and one other football school. Not very likely since Notre Dame likes independence.
Find four football schools that could bring estimated 4 million in basketball revenue and 8 to 10 million in football revenue.
At this points the odds are very low and my idea of MWC schools could possibly come close.
Otherwise, my current flip flop view if you want to call it that is if a split occurs in five years due to reduced basketball revenue, you will see an 8 sports all sports conference to maximize revenue potential.