My theory on the B1G game plan for expansion and the "ND pause"...
After analyzing postures of conferences and avail media quotes:
Certainly before the invite to USC/UCLA, the B1G created an overarching game plan to achieve their counterpunch in the arms race with the SEC.
First move: Bring in USC/UCLA. Two reasons: 1. Outside of ND, USC is the only school in the country left outside the B1G and SEC that would help counter balance the move of UT and OU to the SEC. With adding UCLA they dominate the money and recruit rich SoCal region. 2. USC is a long term arch rival of ND with long term tradition. Bring in USC and use that scenario to convince ND that the CFB landscape is so altered that their independence advantages are about to be dwarfed. Get USC as part of the negotiations to influence ND and reformulate that rivalry inside of the B1G with the PAC12 culture now drawing to a close.
Second move: B1G lets it be known that their process is waiting on the decision of ND. This signal shows that they are at a fork in the road with the process... meaning that they will take path A if ND joins and path B if ND again chooses to stay independent.
Plan A: ND joins the B1G. This seriously weakens ACC standing with ND loss and also creates a mega windfall of future profits. This plan would exceed the move by the SEC to get UT/OU. The B1G does one of two things: Either uses this windfall to buy out Clemson's GOR and brings them into the conference or the B1G goes for the jugular and brings in multiple ACC teams and dissolves the conference.
Plan B: ND stays put. The B1G then avoids the ACC GOR altogether and moves to bring in Ore and UW. The PAC quickly dissolves.
The Big 12, knowing that there is yet to be significant fallout from either of these moves is waiting to see what the B1G does. If plan A occurs, then the Big 12 will move to bring in both ACC and/or PAC teams. If plan B occurs, then the Big 12 will execute a course of bringing in PAC remainders.
Thus the response of Big 12 that they are not looking to grab PAC teams "at this time". The B1G drama is not over. I suspect there is more cross talk between conference heads than we learn about.
When all is said and done, there could be 3 power conferences... or four.
Either way the PAC is dead. The AZ, ASU, CU, UU programs have reportedly talked at this point to both the B1G (they had to try, right?!) and the Big XII.
It is now all in the hands of the decision of the Fighting Irish.