The end game of the conference realignment shakeout _should_ look something like what I offer below. Note, of course, that under the current anarchic 'process' my end stage will never happen. Also, I felt free to exclude marginal BCS programs, because its the right thing to do. (By marginal I mean weak attendance, small television audience, NOBODY CARES kind of schools relative to a mid-level member of a BCS conference.) In addition, I break each of the mega-conferences down into their fairly sensible subdivisions, and discover some very pleasant 'tradition restored' phenomena. One final note: I limited super conferences to a maximum of 18 schools, because that's the max that allows playing all your subdivision foes, having a final championship game, and scheduling a reasonable number of non-conference games.
BIG TEN (18 schools)
The above is essentially a combination of the Big Ten with an idealized Big East. Weak literally and in tradition football not allowed. Note how the West subdivision is the old Big Ten (yay!) except for poor Indiana. The East is an old-fashioned best in the northeast football competition. Tradition restored!
Here I do the natural thing and combine the ACC and SEC, and return a few out-of-place schools back where they should be. Sorry South Florida, but ain't it great having all three traditiona Florida powers in the same conference?
Note the restoration of tradition, lots of long familiar foes. Feels real natural, and this is what America wants! New Mexico is a stretch but a natural region-and-travel wise.
San Diego State
Can't get more than 14 into this one, and even SDSU was a stretch. San Diego is a huge television market and a natural for growth in fan base if it gets these sorts of conference opponents.
Of course I offer all of the above for argumentative purposes only. And, hey, if your team is left out that there are two extra spaces in the Big 16 and 4 extra ones in the Pacific 14. However, I don't think there will ever be enough true BCS schools in the west to justify 18 teams in its super conference. OTOH, certainly there are neglected powerhouses in the Southeast that I've excluded at this point. South Florida, I want to offer a personal apology to you, but I just couldn't find a space if I limit maximum conference size to 18. I suppose you (and who?) could be an 'out-of-region' member of the Big 16?