There have been recent rumblings in the NCAA to the effect that the misnomered Big Ten wishes to expand to as many as 16 teams. Very interesting: the last time anyone tried this was more than 20 years ago, when the WAC expanded into a 16-team league that stretched all the way from Texas to Hawaii. That grand experiment came a cropper, leaving today's WAC and Mountain West in a parlous state, subpar to the Pac 10 and the comferences in the eastern half of the country. Would the Big Ten really want to risk repeating such a blunder?
Folks, the optimum number of members for a BCS football conference is TWELVE. Drum that into your heads: TWELVE. The SEC, ACC, and Big XII have proven that this configurarion works best (every school plays every other school in its division every year, and every school in the other division every other year), and they get to have a playoff game between the two division leaders. The configuration also leaves plenty of room for inter-conference games in a 12-game season.
If the Biog Ten is wise, they'll work like Gambusters to take in Notre Dame, and spend a few years digesting that. And maybe change the conference name to the Big North.
Of course, that will leave the anomaly of the Pac-10, a conference which has refused to take in geographically local/logical schools on the grounds that they're bad academic fits (!), as if academics really has anything to do with athletics. If the Big Ten expanding raises visions of chaos in college football, expansion of the Pac-10 should make everyone all the way from LA to New York quake in his boots; somewhere, the Pac-10 will have to find two more teams from the ranks of big state universities, and that's going to cause a major churning of conference allignments, beginning in the west and working its way eastward that would make an over-greedy Big Ten look like a Sunday-school picnic.