What if the top half of the ACC folds into the SEC, and the bottom half of the remaining ACC replenishes the conference's ranks with up and coming mid majors like Troy?
So for instance, say Florida State, Miami, Georgia Tech/Clemson and Va Tech get bumped to the SEC and make them a 16 team conference. Additionally, say Boston College pulled a shocker and got elected to the Big 10.
That'd leave Wake Forest, Virginia, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Maryland, Duke, and GT/Clemson. So thats 7 teams, and if the ACC wanted to keep pace with the 16 team big boys, they'd have to raid the cupboards of other conferences. I can see them abandoning the coastal footprint and snatching up West Virginia, but they'd still need 7 more. USF has proven they can run with the big boys (beat FSU), East Carolina would be appealing, Middle Tennessee topped Maryland, Louisville would be appealing, Memphis would be a draw if for basketball alone, and then it gets tricky for another team in that southeastern footprint... maybe stretch west for a USM or Tulane, or approach a team like Navy who is at home in that area in Annapolis. Troy and UCF could top off the deal so your conference would look like this:
Navy (for sake of conversation)
North Carolina State
I bet that that scenario is highly implausible but it'd be frikkin sweet, plus that footprint isn't too much larger than the Sun Belts now and is smaller than the ACC's currently is. We'd get to maintain our rivalry with Middle Tennessee, enjoy games against larger named programs like NC State and WVa, and still remain completely competitive against even the top of the program. Not to mention a conference like that would deserve every bit as much of a seat at the table of AQ megaconference should there not be a playoff in place by that time. Furthermore, each of these teams could also remain competitive in other sports. Some of the ACC team transfers might moan about playing "lesser competition" but they'd only do that until the new-to-ACC teams beat them a few times (shouldn't take long) and found out how marketable the transfer programs are. Besides, what else are they gonna do?
Say the SEC only seeks to expand to fourteen, they can take GT/Clemson and NC State or something and leave the new ACC I've proposed as a 14 team conference