I spoke to my former colleague who now lives in Chicago over the weekend and got a little bit of a window into what is latest strategy from the B10.
Note: This is about as unverified as "voracity" goes. I don't have the means to independently verify anything and am actually hoping this post might or might not jive with what Brian has been hearing and that would provide some clarity on this.
As of EOB Friday, the UT to B10 scenario looks as bleaks as it gets. UT does not want to move to B10 without bringing someone "who will be strongly in their corner in the B10". The B10 presidents (not all but a solid bloc of 4 to be precise) have laid down the law to Delany that no more non-UT B12 members are welcome. This includes A&M, not that they even want to come here in any case. Key point to note is that unlike what we have been hearing from MSM, the Texas legislature is the least of the problem here. They are actually not in the picture at all. The talks between B10 and UT have been bitter at points and this has led some of the presidents to take a hard line on them as they feel if they give in too much to accomodate UT they will always be a demanding/disharmonious member and the B10 just does not need that kind of headache. In short, EFF EM.
Given this bleak picture, the dominant view in the B10 is to look elsewhere and leave the B12 the hell alone (apart from what is done of course). Two presidents who have been sort of "helping" in the vetting process, have come up with two names I have not seen mentioned at all until now. Boston College and Georgia Tech. Delany immediately replied saying both have actually vetted by us already (as in we checked them out, they made no moves whatsoever to initiate it) and low intensity conversations did happen. Jim's point of view is that both would be acceptable fit's but he prefers BC and expects that they would be a easier+better get. Couple of reasons for this:
1. GT is insisting on (ala UT) that they get to bring at least one of the buddies along to provide some voice in their corner.
2. BC is also of a similar view but has said that they might be open to waive that requirement if ND were to be a part of the conference when they join.
Neither of these are particularly likely to happen or at least in a short time frame since the farthest things have gotten with ND is talking extensively about a semi-conference member sort of wierd arrangement. It would go something like this:
ND would get to retain their "independent" status but would commit to playing 7 B10 opponents every year (3 of those being in SB). They would agree in principle to come under the B10 TV contract within a reasonable time frame (as in not immediately but within a given amount of years that is TBD).
My buddy says there is virtually no talk at all about any Big East member anymore and he isnt exactly privy to the inner sanctum of negotiations to know if this is because we have lost interest or if the talks have progressed to such an extent that absolute need to know basis only has been declared.