Lash, my model would be similar to SportsKC's suggestion above; however, I would lean more towards East Carolina rather than Marshall, and view ECU would have more (comparative) appeal to the current BE fb members. Of course ECU no longer has the VPI advocate from the BE. Other factors are contingent. No one knows exactly how Temple's future will unfold, and Army and Navy though offering traditional fb appeal, may not have competitive enough bb for "all-sports". Will new eastern fb 1-A's emerge in a couple of years? Delaware? UMASS? William & Mary? GA Southern? Maybe five years from now it will become more clear.
A 12 team "all sports" conference of "northeastern teams" in one division, and another of "central/gulf south" in another division, will appear just what C-USA's history has been: marriages of convenience. The design in itself is inviting a further split when the southern flank thinks it needs to add Houston, N. Texas, La Tech or whomever. Two very distinct footprints--- future split, when? 2010, 2012?
There are certain C-USA teams that may indeed want to stay C-USA, Memphis could be included. This hinges of the BCS system and future revisions. There is no suggestion that a NBE lose its BCS access and replaced by another conference. Nor is it suggested the BE be diminished as part of the BCS no more so than the other current BCS automatic conference representatives. However, if conferences such as the MWC, WAC, and C-USA get their superior teams into the system in a reasonable manner, jumping conferences may become a more pondering and studied matter. Even for the biggest of the richest schools, travel issues and having natural rivals remain concerns.
I concur that a new BE fb contigent that has split from those bb schools, would be wise to expand, and perhaps to twelve. Obviously, the northeast and schools such as Syracuse, WVU, Pitt, UCONN, etc. need to be BCS contenders through the prime mechanism.
While the BE is currently at only "8", compared to BCS conference brethern who are at 12, 12, 12, 11, and 10; then, the BE, fairly or not, is going to receive criticism regarding whether their representative is deserving, i. e. Pittsburgh this year. If Notre Dame suddenly agreed to play BE fb, all would be dandy, and the BE would be set for years. That is not going to happen. Therefore, I also expect a few years from now, the fb BE part ways from the urban, Catholic bb schools.