1.) First, they do have some leverage. It is better for the Big 12 they be the first moves- it gives the Big 12 a better chance of convincing other ACC schools they may want. No one exactly knows if the ACC will even be there to schedule- think of it as a negotiation ploy from the Big 12, if you must. Also, no is leverage is needed. We are giving them nothing. Instead of playing some FCS and MAC teams, we say we will play ACC-Big East teams one OOC game...
2.) Cinci, Louisville, Syracuse, BC, Miami, Wake, Pitt, UConn, South Florida, etc are still better than FCS and MAC games. The fact you suggested otherwise is incriminating to your critical thinking on this rumor. The deals with the 4 major conferences would be years away, and will be post-season based anyways. You are nuts if you think enticing FSU and Clemson to make the first jump with an early September weekend with the remaining ACC-Big East schools is costing the Big 12 anything.
We are not going to be the first mover here. Any school that has reasonable hopes of an SEC or B1G invite is going to wait them out before they would come to the Big 12. The pecking order here is pretty clear.
Schools are going to continue to schedule how they schedule until something major changes in the post season to force their hand. Even if we get to 4 conferences, they will still play a couple punching bag games per year, maybe one top tier opponent, and then their league schedule. If they want to use one of those old ACC teams, great, but there would be no reason at all to put together a conference level agreement with them. Seriously, of those remaining teams, half of them were mid-majors like 10 years ago.
There is a movement to 4 major conferences and it will happen sooner than later. Before any move is made TV networks have to be involved and part of it to make the money work. I also think not having a Big 12 network helps the Big 12. There are networks that are already in place. that wanting programing, like YES covering Big 12 games. The schools can provide their own network for thier fans, and games can be placed by the conference. There is no overhead costs of running a network, no start up costs, no relying on football to pay the bills for all the other programs.
2.)Again, the desire is to force or entice those that know they are not getting an SEC or BIG invites to move first, rather than wait. It is a game of chicken, and like you have said, the Big 12 has leverage. If the Big 12 only has two spots and can offer more money than the ACC, it is too risky for several of the ACC schools to not move first.
3.) A former mid-major is still a step up from MAC and FCS schools, there is no arguing otherwise. The Big 12 would benefit from some type of Big 12-ACC/Big East OOC agreement. Probably 2 for 1, maybe even 3 for 1, deals that are now given out to far worse programs than those.
Full merger with the SEC.
4 6 team divisions. Play 5 of your division, plus one other division each year. Play everyone in 3 years, but it's an 11 game conference schedule. Imagine the football each week though. There would be at least 2-3 marquee games each weekend, plus with the inventory from football and other sports, the tier 3 network would look like ESPN most days. Also, every division (not to mention the entire conference) is contiguous, making it a real division/conference setup for travel purposes.
Imagine the money that each school would pull in in that setup. Basically own the most populated (and growing) section of the United States for college sports purposes. The years that our Pod plays the Arkansas/Alabama pod would be epic.
This would be a football ratings powerhouse! **** the B1G! Damn that would be awesome!
If the Big 12 was going to kick a team out, there wouldn't even be a vote. The other 9 presidents would just slowly turn to look at Ken Starr in unison, who would immediately threaten to sue everyone before Bowlsby called security and Starr (and Baylor) was forcibly removed.
If we have learned anything it's that killing a conference is difficult. The Big 12 was DOA and somehow is thriving now. I can't see the ACC brand being wiped out. Weakened for sure, but something called the ACC will probably crawl out of the ashes.
The death of the ACC as we know it sucks. Duke, UNC, and NC State are on top of each of location wise. A lot of traditional rivalries on the chopping block again. The golden goose better watch it's ***. The ax is sharp and ready
Or, you could sit on your hands, do nothing as a conference, and hope other conferences pick apart the ACC prior to 2014, leave the Big 12 what it wants (and hopefully alone). The end result may be the same, or it may not be. You do what you can to get who you want to commit, successful or not. Your comment about FSU being tied to the Big 12 is yet another ignorant statement. There is no settling there. FSU has been tied to the Big 12 before the SEC and BIG were even thought to be a threat to the SEC. This has nothing to do with FSU's position with the BIG or SEC, and everything to do with the Big 12's business model. There are programs very much worth it to the Big 12 that are likely on the outside of the BIG or SEC, one of those being FSU.