Quinn, I'm curious as to why all your scenarios have C-USA adding La Tech if necessary.
In my opinion (keep in mind I'm a Tulane season-ticket holder from the Northeast), La Tech adds absolutely zero to the league.
The Ruston area of Louisiana is hard to get to, and very small.
La Tech was passed over for the 12th spot by UTEP.
To be, the choice to replace a team lost to the Big East could be... Charlotte. Adding football for 2013. While their intentions are FCS for a period of time, the idea of all-sports C-USA membership in a conference they have pre-existing relationships with five schools (Tulane, USM, UAB, two of Memphis, ECU, UCF) might be too enticing for them to pass up. They'd have to prefer that to A-10 membership for all sports, and associate member status in the CAA for FCS football. A shot at C-USA would poise them for future Big East membership and enable them to build the program faster than the FCS route.
The geography of the WAC is the sole reason La Tech to C-USA is often mentioned, but the interest is on La Tech's part.
But the geography of C-USA would make New Mexico State, North Texas or Texas State (as a travel partner with UTEP) more enticing than La Tech. And C-USA is doing the inviting.
I agree. LA Tech isn't an attractive option. But few are.
Charlotte would be great, but they don't have FBS football now and won't for a long time. Would CUSA wait at 11 football members and no longer qualify for a championship game? Likely not. This is the same problem with all the hopeful programs considering upgrades in the future like Texas St and UTSA: it's just a matter of bad timing.
So if you're CUSA, look at your real options:
* Utep isn't a huge fan of being in a conference as NMSU...they've said that. So UTEP would likely vote against NMSU.
* As for North Texas, they are the strongest candidate but just support the CUSA-east theory of the league being too Texescentric.
* Troy or MTSU? Perhaps
* FAU or FIU? The CUSA-East would like that
* La Tech: not pretty but a decent enough program. Does not extend the footprint to increase travel for the CUSA-East schools...LA Tech doesn't rock the boat.