Don't discount this: the Big 14.
Multiple Big Ten sources told the Tribune Wednesday that 14 teams, even 16, could be in play as it relates to the Big Ten's potential expansion. "Anything is possible," one source said, beyond the conventional wisdom of simply adding a 12th school.
OK, that sounds ... nebulous, to put it charitably. Where are they going to find three schools where they've had a not-easy time getting one? Brian Cook agrees, and does so by yelling at a lot of people, but he's not wrong:
Just because some guy in the Big Ten office says "anything is possible" does not mean that we shouldn't be shocked if a conference that's attempted to expand three times in the last fifteen years only to come up empty all of a sudden adds three teams to become an unwieldy beast of a conference in which you only play about half the teams every year.
Fourteen is ridiculous. The WAC was sixteen for a while until it exploded because at that point you're not a conference but a Thomas Jefferson-style loose confederation.
In this scenario, go on and cast Jim Delany as James Madison. Never liked that guy.