LAST EDITED ON 01-02-13 AT 06:01 PM (EST)
As has been clear since NCAA v. Univ. of Oklahoma, football rules at all of the Division I-A (now called Division I FBS) football schools. However, the NCAA basketball tournament involves all Division I schools, including those that play Division I-AA (now called Division I FCS) football.
With Division I-A football becoming so profitable thanks to TV, several Division I-AA programs have decided to upgrade their football programs to Division I-A (e.g., Massachusetts, South Alabama, Texas-San Antonio, Texas State, Georgia State, North Carolina-Charlotte, Old Dominion, with more potentially discussing it). Their conference affiliation may become scrambled as some of their members look to cash in and join existing Division I-A conferences for football. The current conferences, in addition to the "Big Six" listed earlier, are Mountain West, Mid-American (MAC), Western, Conference-USA, and Sun Belt.
However, existing Division I-AA programs and conferences will only be affected to the extent their members shuffle off to upgrade their football programs and join new Division I-A conferences. Those conferences include, in no particular order: Big Sky, Big South, CAA, Ivy, MEAC, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Pioneer, Southern, Southland and Southweestern (a historic black conference, not to be confused with the former Texas conference), as well as the new 7-team Catholic university conference that is breaking away from the Big East.
One of the interesting things about NCAA basketball tournament revenue is that the NCAA pays it out over five years. Thus, teams that leave their conference are surrendering deferred basketball revenue. It shows how small this basketball payout is compared to football revenue that so many teams are willing to make a conference shift and give up this money.
The huge turnover in the Big East will apparently cost it its automatic bid for the NCAA basketball tournament (which will shift to the Catholic conference). That will be a problem if Cincinnati and UConn succeed in finding new conferences, but the,two of them will probably be invited, automatic bid or not, for the foreseeable future.