I could see the semifinals being a completely separate games like the conference championship games are. Once a couple of the big conferences go to 16 they'll be able to push that change through the NCAA.
In that case you'd play:
1 team from each of the remaining 2 pods
Semifinal if you win your pod
Conference final if you win that
Yeah, should have taken Lville instead of TCU. Then you could have 8 teams in the west part of the conference, then just annex 6 ACC schools to add to WVU and Lville. Everyone is happy then.
That way we all play in Texas at least once a year and sometimes twice depending on the rotation.
I have a strong desire to punch people anytime I see the word 'pod' used in reference to football conferences.
Pods will be necessary in 16-team conference. Reason not to go to 16-team conference.
However, with pods you could play everyone every other year that is outside your pod. So it is not a once in a generation thing.
I am in two camps, depending on what the Big 12 presidents want to do.
1.)Expansion focused primarily on population makes complete sense to conferences owned by networks like the TV-14. If the Big 12 does not have concrete plans to become a TV network, then expansion only works by increasing conference revenue per team by the more traditional considerations of actual product quality (brand appeal, success, popularity). Like it has been stated several times, only a few schools, namely FSU and ND, are attractive enough in TV negotiations to better what Big 12 schools currently receive.
2.) Wild idea, and I have little faith the presidents of the Big 12 are of the ilk needed to make this happen, but the Big 12 should follow Murdoch, et al., and tax America to fill its chest. A la carte cable is not coming soon, and even if it did, the bigger conferences would be the most immune.
This would require a huge quest for TV sets, so you do whatever you need to do to get your pick of the ACC. I think this may mean offering the 8 keystone ACC schools (plus WVU) a chance to be their own division. Allow the old aristocracy of the ACC (plus Ga Tech and FSU) to continue their Jeffersonian ways, both academically and in sports the Big 12 currently does not support. Short of Maryland being the target demographic of "need cash now?" commercials and FSU wanting out, the ACC was stable.
The key is accepting redundancy in terms of TV area. UVA and Tobacco Road have proven they are a bloc in these politics. Imo, the only way they break up is if they think there is no other option. Give them that option, and you gain an advantage over the SEC and the TV-14. I would guess Va Tech goes SEC. If SEC tactics stay the same, not all of FSU, Clemson, and Ga Tech will get an SEC invite and would prefer the Big 12 + ACC over the rust belt.