Are the football schools (Big East Presidents) unhappy in the current league and can't move because a couple of those Presidents want to remain with the Big East?
I believe this a myth and each of the current 8 Big East football school Presidents would prefer to be in the Big East over a split into a new league. The bottom line is the current Big East is better than a split especially if you do not have any plans to expand to 12 football members.
Otherwise a split would have already occurred. It is what it is!
I think you nailed it. The Big East can remain at 16 teams as long as it is profitable to do so. There was another thread with actual TV revenues for each school, and the basketball contract nets $2 million a season from CBS/ESPN/ABC.
The fact of the matter is, the Big East is sending eight teams to the dance and found a scheduling model that maximizes TV games, success, RPI and NCAA bids.
I predicted back in 2003 that the Big East 16 was an experiment to get them two sides meeting NCAA conference requirements to split in 2011, and that they would not get enough NCAA bids for both sides to want to make it work much longer than that. The schedule dictated that they wouldn't send the 9-11 teams everyone was predicting when they expanded.
I wouldn't say I was "wrong" because the NCAA threw a monkey wrench in there and added two games to the schedule a few years ago. This let the Big East get more wins so the fact that they played 288 games against each other didn't drag down their RPIs closer to .500. That difference is probably 7-10 RPI spots over teams from the A10, MVC, etc. and helping them get eight instead of six or seven.
Point is, the basketball schools have long-since had the stance that they need to remain tied to the football schools for as long as possible, lest they become like A-10 schools. Xavier and Dayton have nice little seasons, but they don't have Final Four seasons.
Each side is doing well enough that none has a reason to leave. Teams like Cincinnati, DePaul and USF aren't complaining. While their NCAA chances in hoops took a big hit, they are still making more money in the BE than C-USA.
This leads into the second myth. Do all conferences (including the Big East Presidents) want to be a 12 team league with the ability to play a football championship game. I believe the lack of success of Conf USA, MAC and to great extend the ACC has made this dream less appealing. Everyone can disagree if they prefer, however, the Big Ten is not expanding, the Pac 10 is not expanding, and to what we know the Big East is not splitting to expand to 12. Only the SEC has really made this alignment a true success story. The Big 12 has balance issues between north and south schools that could someday pull that league apart if Nebraska does not return to the old hey day success in football. Could it be that 12 team conferences playing a football championship are not what its cracked up to be. Otherwise would not the Big Ten be jumping all over this. Again it is what it is!
They key isn't getting to 12 teams, as C-USA has proved. It's getting 12 GOOD TEAMS. Or at least 10 good teams.
The Big Ten isn't adding because they only want Notre Dame.
The Pac 10 isn't adding because they don't have any candidates that are clearly upstaging them in the West and from a big market. Gonzaga has great basketball, but aren't in a big market at all. Boise State's been good in football, but not good enough, not good enough in basketball and doesn't bring a big enough market to warrant expansion.
While Utah's had some good runs, they'd need to be DOMINATING the MWC in football and basketball to get a look, and even then, there'd need to be a second team and there's market size issue.
As for the "lack of success" by the ACC, I think it's working just fine:http://www.statefansnation.com/wp-conte ... ansion.jpg
I'd say the Big XII is doing just fine, too. The division imbalance only becomes a factor if the conference can't agree on a BCS revenue sharing plan that makes everyone happy. (The SEC divides everything into 12 slices. They could put their best six teams in one division and everyone's still going to be happy. It's not like Vandy wants out of a deal in which 10th place gets them $18 million).
The bottom line is, the new members of the Big East (and you need four for a 12-team league) have to bring in market size, fan base, and revenue to make a TV contract better.
If football splits, they lose DC and Philly from the basketball contract (11 million people **let's not get into the symantic argument of how many people in each city are actual fans of each school. GTown and Nova ARE the #1 schools in each of those markets)
AND they still need to grown the football contract by 33% to accomodate four new members.
Orlando and Memphis are 4.5 million people.
Buffalo is 1.1 million in the metro area. East Carolina is half a mil tops.
Unless they can nab Penn State or Notre Dame (unlikely) the Big East probably isn't going to split anytime soon (unfortunately as an A-10 fan).