I exchanged a few emails with a few college football bloggers about where USF stands in the Big East Apocalypse, and quite frankly, as almost everyone knows, it's grim.
The ACC is flat out not interested. They have 2 member institutions in Florida and don't see value in adding USF, which many of us already assumed. There was talk of FSU looking into the SEC, but the ACC upped the buyout to $20 million.
I asked, "If there was any scenario, in which the SEC would take a look at USF?" I pointed out that the ACC buyout was raised. If Texas, Tech, Oklahoma, and State went to the PAC16, the B1G managed to grab Missouri and Notre Dame, and the ACC grabbed Rutgers and UConn, who would be available for the SEC16? My thoughts were, well not much.
The short answer is: less than zero percent. The SEC wouldn't give USF an actual look. Although USF is in a attractive media market, the problem is U of Florida's footprint well covers the Tampa market. Florida wont want us in, and it's just not a good fit.
If a B1G16 and SEC16 were to come together, I was told the ACC $20 million buyout would be a hurdle, but the SEC and B1G would jump that hurdle to get the teams they want the most. So, our best long shot option would be for the SEC to grab FSU and open a potential spot in the ACC. The problem there is Florida doesn't want FSU in he SEC and so long as UF, UGA, and USC are keeping out instate rivals, it's not going to happen.
Our best bet is the Texas schools going to the PAC16 and joining up with the Big 12 remnants to become the 5th conference. Keeping some form of the Big East or Big 12 conference affiliation will ensure an auto-bid until the next BCS contract cycle comes around.
I was told there was an ultimate doomsday scenario in which Texas holds together the Big 12 remnants and adds a possible TCU and Houston where USF could be left out in the cold, with WVU filling in the SEC14 and UConn and Rutgers in the ACC. There would only be Cincy, USF, and Louisville left. We'd be back in CDOA. The ultimate nightmare.
Sorry, I know this has all been posted around the boards a million times, but I had some help evaluating the scenarios with outside perspective. The situations are obviously fluid and this info is only as relevant as the next move, but it's some insight.