If the Big 10 goes to 16, and the SEC follows suit, they are likely to be gobbling up the likes of Texas, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame (and probably a few also rans). The ACC is already solidly behind those conferences, if the SEC adds Texas, Texas A&M and/or Oklahoma in expansion, the gulf between the SEC and ACC in football will double and be insurmountable. There's only so much cash to go around, and if you were a network, why would you give the ACC more than a pittance after securing rights to the Big 10 and SEC.
I have to think that schools like FSU, Miami, Clemson, etc. will be jockeying to be in the mix for the SEC if that happens, for financial reasons if nothing else. How could the ACC possibly stay "in the conversation" in that landscape, when it's barely in the conversation now? They will be at least as much of a distant trailer as the Big East is now.
Can the ACC do ANYTHING in an 16-team expansion scenario? I've been thinking no, but maybe I've convinced myself that they could. Remember during ACC expansion, and Notre Dame and the ACC had a little flirtation? Is there any possible way Notre Dame would consider a conference other than the Big 10?
Because, if they would, think about this scenario:
is a nice little football division right there, with a lot of old-school tradition, and while Notre Dame doesn't have the same history there that it has with Michigan, MSU and Purdue, it does have some tradition there, including a lot of basketball in recent years.
The South would be:
You know, together, that's really a nice conference, with a cool little north/south vibe there that would be very interesting and unique among conferences. I think the divisions would have a lot of rivalry between each other because of that. The conference game would be unofficial called the Civil War. TV wise you'd really cover the whole East coast in a much more legitimate way than we do now by throwing BC up there by itself.
For FSU, we'd add GT and UNC as yearly opponents, which would be a big improvement.
Adding Pittsburgh, Syracuse, West Virginia and Notre Dame would make for some sick basketball as well.
Is there any scenario in which ND, forced into joining a conference, would go anywhere other than the Big 10? If there is, the rest of this could become viable. And that is a conference that, while maybe not the best, would at least command some attention in the new college football landscape.
Otherwise, I don't see how FSU, Clemson and Miami don't end up jockeying for SEC expansion bids.