According to ESPN, Pitt and Syracuse are discussing a move to the ACC.
Of course, this may all be speculation and hyperbole (as most of these rumors are), but it remains concerning nonetheless. If Pitt and Syracuse were to leave the Big East, I’m not sure how we maintain our AQ status. The Big East would be down to 7 teams.
Begin unknowledgeable guesses here: The Big 10 may use the opportunity to add Rutgers (or UConn) as has been speculated in the past. This would put them at 13, so they would likely go hard after ND and when shunned, turn to Missouri (see same link as "add Rutgers"). This would leave the BEast with 6 teams. At that point, TCU would be better off crawling back to the Mountain West where (with Boise State), they could (and likely would) earn AQ status at the Big East’s expense. Alternatively, the Big 12 could look to add TCU to get to 10 and stabilize the conference for another year or two (though reports indicate that a Texas and Oklahoma aren't interested).
The nice thing about the above scenario is that we would have a real opportunity to get asked to the dance by either the SEC or ACC. If Missouri ends up in the Big 10 (or PAC 12 for that matter), that gives us an inside shot at the SEC. The caveat being that Florida State is reportedly discussing conference realignment internally and they may be seeking admission to the SEC. Alternatively, VTech has been linked to the SEC, as well. As such, one of us (FSU, VT, or WVU) will likely be asked to the SEC. If it is VT or FSU, that leaves the ACC with 13 teams. Out of Cinncinnati, UConn, Louisville, USF, and WVU, I would think that we bring the most to the table in regards to athletics. The question will be whether we can generate enough revenue (I think we offer more than the other 4 teams) and academic prestige to warrant an ACC invite.
The other scenario is that the BIg 12 dissolves. Ok, Ok St, Texas, and Texas Tech take most of the open spots in the other major conferences. We are then stuck in the BEast and hope that TCU stays to play. We can then add Missouri, which would be a nice addition, along with Kansas and Kansas State who add very little for football. The Big "East" would then consist of: WVU, TCU, Missouri, USF, UConn, Cincinnati, Louisville, Rutgers, Kansas, and Kansas State. Maybe that's good enough to maintain AQ status and a solid TV contract....
PS - I hope I put this in the right spot. If not, please feel free to move it to FanShots or wherever it may belong.