Since conference expansion usually takes months and years to happen, this will probably be a hot topic until September. There are about a million angles to take on this topic. Today, I will elaborate on three: TCU going to the Big 12, the Big 10 targeting ACC or SEC teams, and the impact on the BCS.
1.TCU to the Big12
Since it appears that the Big 12 is going to be hit by either the Big 10 (Missouri or Nebraska) or the Pac-10 (Colorado) the Big 12 will need to replace one or two schools, or shrink to 10 teams. TCU seems to be a perfect fit geographically and competitively. It doesn't hurt that TCU has tradition with several Big 12 schools as a former Southwestern Conference (SWC) member. That, however, is the exact reason I would be leery, if I were TCU, to join the Big 12. TCU was kicked to the curb while the then Texas Governor struck a deal to bind membership of one state school to the inclusion of three others. In other words, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and Baylor are a package deal. If one is in they all are in, if one is out they all are out. As the last one in, TCU would be the first one out if the Big 12 ever decided another rising team (Houston, Tulsa) became more desirable in the future and rather than increase to 13 teams it wanted to stay an even 12. Then again, this is TCU, who was rejected by the other eight teams in the Mountain West Conference (MWC) ten or so years ago when they left the Western Athletic Conferenc (WAC). When the MWC came calling five years later, TCU fully embraced reuniting with the eight schools who felt they were better off without the Horned Frogs.
2. Big 10 targeting ACC or SEC schools
Everyone seems set that the Big 10 will expand with either a Big 12 North team or with a Big East team. Money seems to be the biggest reason behind this round of expansion talks, and the Big 10 seems to be on par with the SEC in that regard, even if the performance on the field has not reflected it. Isn't there a middle of the pack SEC team that would provide just as much added revenue as Missouri or Pitt and would also want to go to the Big 10 to compete better in football? Kentucky would help Big 10 basketball and Kentucky football might fare better in the Big 10. It is also situated nicely geographically. What about Boston College from the ACC? Huge media market, and no strong roots in the ACC. Georgia Tech? The Yellow Jacket's big rival (Georgia) is already in a different conference, and the Atlanta media market would be a nice catch.
3. The Impact on the BCS
Lost in all of the conference expansions and realignments is how this impacts the "solid" foundation of the BCS. The BCS formed itself on the premise that the best football teams were in the ACC, SEC, Big 10, Big 12, Big East, and Pac-10. The ACC and Big East realignments last decade resulted in three teams (Louisville, Cincinnati, and South Florida) that were originally considered outsiders to become insiders. By the time this potentially catacalysmic round of conference expansion finishes we could have another three teams "promoted" to the BCS level. Who says that these six teams (the former three and the hypothetical future three) were the most deserving? It is unfair if a team like Boise State is left out of automatic qualification status, but a team like South Florida gains automatic qualification status. Boise State has done everything in its control (win on the field), but South Florida has all the uncontrolable variables (location, media market). Conferences expand for money, but the BCS was designed, on the surface, to get the top two teams to play each other. With a new composition, who says the Big 10, Big 12, Pac-10, ACC, SEC, and Big East of 2012 will be worthy of the automatic qualification status they gained in 1998? The BCS should be null and void and a new system put in place after the conference expansions conclude, unless, like conference expansions, the BCS is really all about money.