"You start a conversation you can't even finish it
You're talkin' a lot, but you're not sayin' anything
When I have nothing to say, my lips are sealed
Say something once, why say it again?"
- David Byrne
That said, I wonder if there will be enough teams left out in order for there to be enough votes in the congress to do anything. There are always going to be a few noisy members who will make waves, but they won't get anywhere unless the put together enough votes. If the breakaways say they're doing it to give the players fair compensation for their work, it's going to be hard for congressmen whose districts aren't directly impacted to vote against. Remember there's a reason those teams are in the 'lower' conferences and the biggest reasons are based on the size of their following and the size of their populous.
Antitrust laws are some of the most ill-applied and misunderstood in the country. With an activist president like Obama, I'd be hesitant to push for an exclusive club of top football schools. Obama isn't afraid to push an issue with almost no Constitutional support. Here, he'd actually have something to work with.
What will happen if there's a breakaway is that Congress will step in to make sure the have-note aren't unduly affected. Remember that the bulk of the NCAA's revenues go to keep the FCS, DII, and DIII schools' athletics afloat. And those are not small constituencies in the aggregate. Congress will take the lead on this one, and it will be bipartisan. Take VA as an example -- there's not a district in VA that doesn't have at least one school that conceivably be harmed by the breakaway, but there are only two districts (5th and 9th) that would be helped by the breakaway (and even then, there are non-FBS schools in the 5th and 9th).
If there's a move to pay players, expect Title IX suits. Those will be brought by the female athletes, or even by the non-football male athletes. Unless every player on every team gets paid the same, that's conceivably a violation of Title IX since women won't be afforded the same "educational" opportunities as men (these are theoretically student-athletes after all).
I don't care how much revenue athletics brings in. Tuition and research dollars brings in more at every school. And the Congress sets the requirements by which the Feds disburse those dollars. Even Bama or tu will think twice about cutting off access to federal student loan revenues.
Something is going to change, but anything other than a new division being set up that still generates sizeable cash flows for the other divisions will generate a LOT of interest (and thus oversight) from Congress. State legislatures will get in on the act as well. If VT and UVa are part of a move that harms the athletic budgets at other schools, I'd expect the GA to reduce their apportionment s by the amount they'd have to give to GMU, et al. to offset the decline. While file antitrust suits when it's much simpler to control the purse strings?
State legislatures may want to weigh-in on this, but I don't think Congress would touch it with a ten-foot poll (get it?). Every step that is taken to make this new division more democratic or more accessible will defeat the purpose of the enterprise: to allow the "rich" schools to splash around a lot of money on big-time football.
As for antitrust suits: it only takes one aggrieved party. That party doesn't even have to be a party to the litigation, because the United States is obliged to enforce antitrust violations. It's free legal counsel. You believe that Congress will work this out perfectly so that every potential litigant is happy. I tend to believe the threat of antitrust litigation will significantly affect any major reorganization.