I definitely see your point, and I've always agreed that the conferences with title games can't really complain, because it as their idea and they are in the minority. I guess it just doesn't bother me personally that not everyone plays everyone else. That's been the case in the Big 10 and Pac 10 forever, and in the SEC for a while as well. Good point about OK not playing K State, but as long as one conference team like Iowa State can schedule FSU and Iowa OOC, while K State can schedule one tough game (USC, probably not tough when originally scheduled) and several patsies OOC, the injustice of missing one tough game in-conference seem minor to me. But two wrongs don't make a right, so . . . I don't know. If the conferences would force members to schedule similar OOC games (apart from OOC rivalry games), then I'd come more to your way of thinking. But for now, missing one conference game seems like one of many minor glitches that ought to be addressed, and it's easier to live with (at least for me) than some other problems in NCAAF.
I guess if everyone moved to 9 members that problem might be solved, but that seems even less likely than everyone moving to 12. That might be something to fiddle with on the dream forum. Every conference has one or two black sheep. It might be more plausible than it seems. That might fit with the proposed solution to the Big 12 problem in the realignment scenario above. Some of the old SWC teams have recovered enough to make a new SWC an interesting idea, though that seems incredibly unlikely unless the Texas teams are forced to revive the conference because of events beyond thier control.
Interesting post. The ACC works out pretty nicely, since USC seems like the only member the conference would be willing to bring in. Putting Pitt in the BE south really balances things, and the PSU and ND games could be fixed on the schedule for them to make everyone happy (I guess PSU would probably fix a game w/ West Va and/or Rutgers, and have a rolling engagement with the others).
I like your suggestion (given all teams going to 10) of reviving the SWC. Texas Tech is an improving program w/in the Big 12, and TCU is really stepping up, probably the best of the non-BCS teams. If SMU would improve, you'd probably have all you'd need for the old SWC to reform. That might please lots of Texas folks, but they'd probably take a financial hit. My guess is the Big 12 makes them more money, and they are one of it's feature teams. But the 9th and 10th members would have to be sub-par. My only suggestions are Houston (at least they're an historic member), UTEP, or North Texas. N Texas plays decent football lately but has attendance problems, so UTEP might be the best option.
I think Colorado State is a natural addition to the old Big 8, and I'd suggest bringing in Air Force instead of Louisville. That would lead the MWC and WAC to cooperate in forming their own 10 member conference. Depending on how things shake out, Louisville could find a home as a dominant team in a midwesterm mid-major conference. I think C-USA would split into midwestern and southern conferences, with Cincy and Louisville in the north, possibly bringing in the cream of the MAC if too many MAC teams sink to IAA. The southern conference would probably include Tulane, So Miss, ECU, USF, and possibly outliers like La Tech. So, I suggest including these conferences in turtlepower's scenario (still haven't pinned down the remaining mid major conferences):
SWC (no idea how to split divisions, east/west might be easier)