This post is entirely speculative. Don't place your conference expansion bets based on this information.
Here's my take on the 12 moves that matter ...
1. Texas A&M to the SEC (of course).
Missouri is suddenly in the cat bird's seat. SEC wants them for the market expansion and to get a fourth AAU school. Big 10 may want them as well, and will get them if they make the move - I gotta say, the Big 10 is in an even better position than the SEC, 'cause what university president of those available would turn them down (besides Notre Dame and Texas, perhaps)?
But both the SEC and Big 10 are waiting to see what happens with the Big XII, and get their answer with ..
2. Oklahoma to the Pac 13.
But, only because the Pac 12 agrees to ...
3. Oklahoma State to the Pac 14.
Now the Big XII is officially dead. No, Air Force, Houston, and Colorado State won't save you. So Missouri is on the auction block. SEC has a conditional offer in place under the table, which is now in effect - the SEC knows they need to act fast to get this unlikely gem. So Mizzou gets in touch with the Big 10 and says, hey, what's up? This one could go either way, I'll call it 50/50 ... either the Big 10 acts quickly and gets them (they will get them if they offer) ... or Delaney can't move fast enough and Mizzou takes the bird in the hand (which is a pretty good bird). I'm going with ...
This should all be out of the way in the next month or so. The rest could happen quickly, or could take a year or three. Let's start with what's easy. Big XII is gone, Texas sees the writing on the wall and ...
5. Texas to the Pac 15.
On the condition that the Pac 14 agrees to ...
6. Texas Tech to the Pac 16.
Kansas has long since been on the line with the Big 10 and SEC by this point (as soon as Oklahoma bolted). They are indeed the only appealing piece left from the now defunct Big XII. Will they leave Kansas State behind? Because I don't see the Big 10 taking both (precident: Iowa, not Iowa State), and the SEC's probably not even interested in Kansas at this point.
The SEC would love to take North Carolina and Duke, but is in no position to do it. North Carolina and Duke are committed to keeping the ACC together, unless it becomes apparent that the ACC is gone, at which time they'll reach out to the Big 10. But we're not there yet.
So with UNC and Duke (options 1 and 2) off the table for the SEC, they decide to sit back and wait. The ball is in the Big 10's court.
What is Notre Dame thinking? Once NDBC goes away, can they keep getting the independent money? Will they confirm their relationship with the Big East by joining in football? Will the Big 10 reach out to them, despite ND not having AAU status?
None of the above. The Big 10 is going further east.
7. Maryland to the Big 10 (effective 2014).
ACC falls into full panic mode. The Big East and ACC now begin trying to poach either other ... (y'know, maybe Boston College goes back to the Big East, maybe WVU bolts for the ACC, none of it really matters because) ... the Big 10 and SEC are in full control.
The SEC still wants UNC and Duke. Problem? So does the Big 10. At this point, the SEC could have its pick of Virginia Tech, NC State, Clemson, West Virginia, Florida State ... but they don't want to settle yet. Virginia is begging the Big 10 to take them, while UNC and Duke sit back and wait. They will have the final say. Meanwhile, out of left field ...
Basketball finally plays a role. The Big 10 meets UNC and Duke's demands. NC State? No. Virginia? Nope.
8. Kansas to the Big 10.
With rumors swirling that UNC and Duke are going to follow their basketball soul sister, Virginia becomes the first major player confronted with the possibility that they are going to be left in the dark. They thought for sure the Big 10 would just extend from Maryland to the research triangle through Charlottesville. Not good.
Now the SEC has a choice. Wait to see what UNC and Duke do? The SEC is pushing them hard at this point, but holds out little hope to get them. Virginia Tech wants in desperately, but now Virginia is in play for the league for the first time. So VPI tries to convince the SEC to make it a package VA deal ... and, of course, the SEC still wants a piece of that North Carolina market. So, in one final whirling dirvish of expansion soap opera mania ...
9. North Carolina State to the SEC.
10. Virginia to the SEC.
11. North Carolina to the Big 10.
12. Duke to the Big 10.
The Big XII is long since gone, the ACC is in shambles, and the Big East moves in to pick up the pieces.
Notre Dame stays put. Too much pride.
SEC 2014 Pods:
1. Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Georgia
2. N.C. State, South Carolina, Florida, Virginia
3. Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, Mississippi State
4. LSU, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Missouri
Big 10 2014 Pods:
1. Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Wisconsin
2. Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska
3. North Carolina, Duke, Maryland, Penn State
4. Ohio State, Purdue, Indiana, Northwestern
Pac 16 2014 Pods:
1. Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State
2. California, Stanford, UCLA, USC
3. Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State
4. Texas, Texas Tech, Arizona, Arizona State
There's no fourth mega-conference available with the leftovers, so what happens to Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Miami, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech? What happens to the Big East basketball conglomerate?
Is it sustainable? Will it last? Will the big 3 mega-conferences expand to 20? Or be content?
Will it lead to a playoff? Probably. Will non-mega-conference teams be included? Hmmm ...
I actually could see this being in place for awhile. As Mr. Clay Travis has said, this is the ultimate male soap opera - gotta enjoy it while it lasts!