Pods are very interesting for football.
I think the ACC tries to get to 16 with ND and UConn. If no ND, they settle for Rutgers. (Also assuming they keep everyone. I wonder how critical getting ND will be to keeping everyone (FSU??) in the fold...)
Pod 1 - BC, Syracuse, UConn, ND/Rutgers
Pod 2 - VPI, UVA, MD, Pitt
Pod 3 - UNC, NC State, Duke, Wake
Pod 4 - FSU, Miami, GaTech, Clemson
Play everyone in your pod once (3 games). Play two teams from each of the other pods (6 games). 9 game schedule. Rotate the out of pods teams every year so you play everyone in your pod every year and everyone outside of your pod every other year. Split up home and away. (Sidenote, 9 games makes it work but ND would probably push hard for 8 if it is even going to consider it...)
Seems like a great balance of keeping regional rivals and still maintaining the feel of a conference. (I think this is similar to what may be proposed/rumored for the Pac-16.)
Top two teams make the championship. This is good because everyone is eligible. Could even be two from the same pod (FSU and Miami). You avoid the Big 12 North/South disparity problem.
The major problem with a North/South split is that you would rarely play the other division in a 16-team conference. Assuming 9 games (apples to apples above) you would only play 2 of the other 8 teams every year. You would play each team in the other division every 4 years and and have them at home every 8 years. What point is it to be in the same conference with FSU, for example, if you only get them in the Dome every 8 years? The other problem is the disparity between the North and South. South would likely be much stronger than the North.
You would also have disparity in the pod systems. However, it is only 3 of your 9 games. Also, I think the schools would want it. FSU wants to play Miami every year. They also probably want to play GaTech and Clemson. It keeps each school regionally grounded. Cuse wants to play UConn, BC and ND/Rutgers. The NC schools want to play each other... Also as far as detrmining a champion, 2/3 of the games are otuside of the pod. Teams are overly penalzied or rewarded for being in a good/bad pod. Plus, the big boys (Pod 4) want to play each other!
The beauty too is also how your games would break down. Syracuse for example would play the 3 regional rivals. It would have one game in the mid-atlantic one and mid-atlantic team coming to the Dome. It would have one game in NC and one NC team coming to the Dome. It would have one game in the Deep South and one Deep South team coming to the Dome. Schedules could probably even be set so you get one of FSU/Miami each year. One of GaTech/Clemson. One of BC/UConn for teams from other pods...
Only downside I see is if you have a bunch of teams with the same record. If 4 teams are 8-1 it will come down to potentially complicated tie-breakers to dtermine who plays in the championship.
For hoops, I hope they follow the BE model. Play everyone once (15 games) and 3 teams twice. Make one a rival (Duke/UNC, Cuse/UConn) and have the other two rotate based on TV or whatever.