"We're very comfortable with 14," ACC Commissioner John Swofford said when Pitt and Syracuse were announced as expansion teams. "The only thing I would add to that is we're not philosophically opposed to 16."
There is also what some call "the Bristol factor" to consider. There's no way ESPN, located in Bristol, Conn., is going to let the state flagship school be left in a diminished conference when the network dominates the college sports TV world.
So, if UConn has nowhere to go, a rebuilt Big East is its best option, too.
If not TCU at the top of the Big 12 wish list, then who? Well, it appears to be BYU and then Big East members West Virginia and Louisville perhaps vying for who's got next. Some say TCU is still a strong candidate, despite remarks the other day from interim Big 12 Commissioner Chuck Neinas on having enough schools from the Lone Star State.
Last week's Big East "pledge of allegiance" meeting (and Commissioner John Marinatto's happy-family remarks) was telling for what the schools said in the days that followed.
There was a great - and to-the-point - line about the New York gathering in one story, where one of the league's basketball school officials wondered about those football presidents and ADs speaking with their fingers crossed.
"Instead of looking each other in the eye, what they should all do is turn on their cell phones and show who they've been talking to and texting with."
The Big East has WVU, TCU, South Florida, Louisville, Cincinnati, Rutgers and UConn as football members. Navy and Air Force have been invited - and have accepted, pending knowing what they're getting into and with whom - as football-only members. The hope is Army would follow.
(Gee, the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy could then be renamed the Marinatto Cup.)
Temple might be asked to rejoin, this time as all-sports Owls. Villanova has the same stadium issues that thwarted its Big East football bid before. USF might be arm-twisted to allow neighbor UCF to join. East Carolina has applied, but is being back-burnered.
That's about a 10-member football league. I think West Virginia really wants to stay put, but I don't see the Mountaineers - if other options materialize - hanging around in the Big East if the conference loses more than one program among UConn, TCU, Louisville or USF.
WVU has plenty of connections with the Big 12, and it fits the SEC athletic profile just as it fits the Big East's geography.
Luck is tied into Texas through his past residence in the state as a prominent sports figure and UT Law graduate. Bob Huggins coached hoops at Kansas State and really knows the Big 12. Dana Holgorsen has spun his football offense previously at Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.
I think Mizzou picks one way before long and West Virginia has a bid to the other - Big 12 or SEC. Then, it's up to WVU President Jim Clements, the Board of Governors and Luck to decide if the Big East can remain stable enough to stay at home.
"We are, and will, remain a national player in college athletics," Luck said after the Big East meeting last week - and whatever happens in this game of musical chairs will be his legacy in the ADs job at his alma mater, and he knows it.
Trust me, Luck has tried to schedule Navy in football. He really loves, respects and appreciates the service academies, what they are and what they stand for.
I don't think he'd mind playing football dates in Annapolis, Colorado Springs and West Point, and the road to the BCS certainly would be easier in the Big East than through Tuscaloosa and Gainesville or Norman and Austin.
If the Big 12 or SEC makes an offer, the Mountaineers will listen, but it's far too soon to say if they would leap.
Contact Sports Editor Jack Bogaczyk at ja...@dailymail.com or 304-348-7949.