FSA, you may be correct indeed about the SEC may never see a NCSU & VPI combo added for 16. Also, concur those ACC schools in VA & NC are bonded even if they have their differences, which is why it would take great turmoil to produce a crack whereby a couple jump.
As to UVA, politically they had to vote for VPI for ACC expansion, and not to vote for anybody else unless VPI was approved. The Virginia Governor essentially directed the UVA to do so.
We've seen in the past, several situations where a state school really does not want an in-state sister school included in the conference; but when it gets beyond internal conference manipulation, and to the point of public relations and formal voting and most other conference members are onboard, the in-state school, in certain cases, has to exhibit an inclusive persona for in-state political and funding reasons.
The UCF to the BE was a recent example. USF ran out of opposing arguments, since the BE was in a near desperate situation.
An anaolgy may be made with Villanova's (private school) long opposition to Temple (state-related) since both were in Philly turf.
Sec03, if the rumor that keeps getting hotter every day of Clemson and Florida State bolting to the Big 12, loyalties will have not barring on which schools change conferences.
Rule of thumb, every school and that means every school is going to always be looking out for number one.
There is big concern in Hokie country of the ACC getting left out the power conference status(Big 4). Less be clear football is determining power conferences today and Va Tech is a football first school.
If the ACC loses some of its remaining major football schools, I believe Va Tech would jump to the SEC in NYC second if invited.
Ditto NC State unless prevented by state political pressure.
If NC State does not want to move, then the SEC could go after cash strapped Maryland if the conference wanted to expand to 16.
The ACC is starting to receive some of the same treatment the conference inflicted on the Big East.
All the SEC has to do is pick four or five schools they potentially want for additions and prioritize expansion. Just like the ACC actions before with expanding with Miami and having BC and Syracuse as targets with fall back on Va Tech or Pitt, Syracuse had no other option in 2003 but accept the ACC offer because the ACC would have just went with Va Tech and Pitt. In the end political pressure forced Va Tech in the ACC expansion in place of Syracuse.
These same political pressure could force some schools to stay in a certain conference or force the SEC to take multiple schools from the same state if they want to expand in that particular state (i.e. Va/Va Tech or NC/NC State. Duke and Wake Forest are both private and would not get any political pressure to keep NC and Duke together. NC may decide to remain with Duke by choice.
Same situation when the Big Ten came out with the 11 expansion target list and everyone was jumping to be included which eventually just ended up with Nebraska going to the Big Ten. It did not stop the desire to move to a stronger conference and this is determined by revenue and most important the fear of being left behind.
Unless forced by political pressure and if the ACC loses more schools, Va Tech and NC State are as good as gone if the SEC comes calling.