The Big 12 isn't dead yet, but it is now on life-support. It appears those rumors of the Pac 10 inviting six Big 12 schools is true. Chip Brown of Rivals is now reporting that Pac 10 commissioner Larry Scott has been given the authority to hand out invitations to the conference.
The Big Ten's reaction? According to the Chicago Tribune's Teddy Greenstein, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney said it "could affect" the league's expansion timeline. Previous rumors had the Big Ten expanding invitations to Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame and Rutgers and expanding to 14 or 16 teams depending on Notre Dame's answer.
So if the Pac 10 and Big Ten expand to 16 teams, would the SEC or ACC do the same? Opinions vary. Some believe the SEC would stand pat and stay at 12 teams instead of trying to feed four extra mouths. But that's not any fun. Others think the SEC would keep up with the Joneses and expand by four.
How this affects the ACC and possibly Virginia Tech will depend on who the Pac 10 takes.
Will the Hokies wind up in the SEC?
I don't think any SEC expansion scenario includes Virginia Tech. Depending on what happens with the Pac 10, the SEC will either stay at 12 or, expand to include Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor and Texas Tech if the Pac 10 balks at taking Baylor or Texas, Texas A&M and two ACC teams if they get the chance.
If the SEC decides to expand to 16 and take four ACC teams, those four will probably be Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida State and Miami. Virginia Tech is far, far down on the SEC's wishlist, probably below North Carolina and Duke (basketball exists, too, you know).
Why doesn't the ACC expand first to avoid an SEC raid?
Because John Swofford is spineless and the Tobacco Road power brokers are old, short-sighted and stupid. How's that for an answer?
What happens if the SEC takes four ACC teams?
Then the ACC has two choices. It can either add four teams to get back to 12 or add eight to go to 16. Well, I guess there's a third option, which is do nothing so the Tobacco Road folks can get their precious round-robin basketball season back. And because that's a really dumb option, it means it might be the most-likely one.
If the ACC decides to add four, my preference would be Syracuse, UConn, Pittsburgh and West Virginia. If it has to add eight, I would prefer South Florida, East Carolina, Louisville and Cincinnati. That would be a full merger with the Big East with the addition of East Carolina.
What is the most far-fetched scenario?
What I'd love to see is also one of the least-likely scenarios. I want to see four leagues expand to 16 teams and split from the NCAA. Then Notre Dame, which arrogantly refused to join any of the four, gets screwed over. That would be fantastic.