In this case, the arrow should be pointing the other way.
By this point, I think we all assume that the Big 12 expanding to 12 teams is fait acompli. There is just too much money being left on the table without a Championship game, not to mention the added rankings boost that comes with being a Conference champ. Considering all of the talk surrounding a future playoff involves the preference a Conference champion being slotted into the semi finals, the mystery becomes even clearer. Being the smallest of the major Conferences with only ten teams and lacking a Championship game will almost certainly go against the Conference in selecting national semi-final participants.
We've all heard the likely suspects of BYU, Cincinnati and Louisville, with the latter two getting the most play due to their regional proximity to new member WVU. But perhaps the reason none of those three have yet to be formally introduced is because they've never been the true targets? Take this with a huge grain of salt considering it's just message board banter at this point, but here are two candidates you haven't heard:
Old pal Clemson
and Florida State.
The rub is this: The Big 12 wants two more teams for the reasons above, and no more.
Now, like many you, I immediately thumbed my nose at this report. Why on earth would Clemson, a founding member of the ACC and consistent competitor in that Conference choose to leave? Florida State wasn't a founding member, but they've been in the league for over 20 years and fared pretty well for themselves in that time. I personally believe that the only way either of those schools would leave the ACC is if the SEC came a-callin', but even then, why leave a Conference you compete in on a regular basis and with a great academic reputation to go to the SEC, which is filled with a bunch of flop haired dum dums and where you'd always be an also-ran?
The answer, of course, is money. From what I gather, the ACC has a TV contract paying each member institution $14 million annually through the year 2024; the Big 12 is about to sign a deal that could push their payout into the $18 million+ range. Would that be enough to get them to jump? It remains to be seen.
On the flip side, though - can you see Grand Maester UT agreeing to pick up two teams that would directly impact their success on the field as Clemson and FSU would? And, with the Big 12 already getting paid, is it worth it to split the bill 2 more ways? It almost makes more sense to sit and wait to see how this new, non-BCS world plays out before making a hasty decision.
Truthfully, this sounds a lot like the UT/OU to the Pac 12 rumors that never came to pass. If you think about something hard enough you can justify it in your mind, but that doesn't make it true. I highly doubt we'll be despising the tomahawk chop the same way we disdain SMU's limp peace sign any time soon...but then again, we all thumbed our noses at the first 50 TCU to the Big 12 rumors, and that turned out rather swimmingly. Stay tuned - until the Big 12 gets back to its namesake, anything is possible.