It was widely acknowledged that other conferences—chiefly the Big Ten and the SEC—would not have been able to stand idly by and watch the Pac-10 grab virtually the entire Big 12 South. The SEC, currently the best football conference in America, was known to be courting Texas A&M, and reports surfaced that if A&M joined, Florida State was pushing to be the 14th member.
I said before that I doubt A&M would have actually dumped Texas, but even if A&M did not join, I would guess that the SEC would target the Big East and/or the ACC for expansion. Because I am writing the article and can thereby be arbitrary, I'm going to select four schools that I think would have been most likely to join the SEC following the defection of the Big 12 South (minus Baylor) to the Pac-10.
1) Florida State: This makes too much sense. They are a bit down right now, but there's too much history with UF here, and FSU is a traditional football power in its own right.
2) Virginia Tech: This also makes a lot of sense. Some have objected on the grounds that the Virginia legislature has made UVA and VT a mated pair. I doubt that—I think VT moved to the ACC for better revenue, and it could get even more in the SEC—but even if that was the case, I think it would be worth it for the SEC to also bring Virginia. However, I think they would be separable, so UVA doesn't make the cut.
3) Miami: another bonafide national program to bring into the fold, and the third of the group. It's hard to imagine a tougher league than what this one is shaping up to be, but it's also hard to imagine the ridiculous television revenue that getting all three big Florida programs in one conference would rake in. Miami has a national following, and people pay to watch "The U."
4) Louisville (again assuming no A&M or a forced acceptance of UVA): Louisville is a traditional basketball school, and crucially, is the in-state rival of the University of Kentucky, another basketball power already in the SEC. Furthermore, geography probably works in their favor, as they would be more westerly than any of the other above additions.
Other candidates for the SEC might be Georgia Tech, Clemson, or maybe even South Florida (very unlikely), but let's move forward assuming these four schools that I listed DID in fact join the SEC.