What is the current status on Massachusetts - are they trying to find their way to the American or will they go all-sports into the MAC?
UMass is a mess. Football is near lifeless with an administration that really could pull the plug on it. They're playing their home games an hour from Amherst, and what's being renovated in Amherst isn't exactly a "top of the line" FBS-caliber venue. It's maybe even just par for the MAC. The MAC wants these guys in their entirety, but UMass wants the A10 hoops if it can't get into the AAC (or ACC or Big Ten, which is what they really want).
JMU might help make parking in the MAC fully more suitable to them. Maybe JMU, ODU, and/or Army's fb might help that. UMass was in their element when they were in that old CAA structure. JMU is their type, in a way.
With the addition of Virginia school James Madison (assuming), does the MAC try after Marshall or even Western Kentucky?
I've heard stuff about Marshall ranging from "the door's always open," to "never again." From both sides. I think CUSA's outlived Marshall's benefit, but I wonder if people perceive going back to the MAC as a step down. It really isn't.
Western Kentucky...I think WKU tried getting in there, but weren't well received. I think, however, that was because WKU came across as a "we're yours for the time being." The MAC has had those kind of programs very often. No thanks. At least, that offer isn't there for a WKU-type.
Why the Group of 5 conferences making no more than X amount divided by Y number of teams, why would the MAC or any other conference want to expand past 12?
There's potential for quality and quantity. Not P5 quality and quantity, but some upsides. Certain conferences have different ceilings than others (like, a super Sun Belt of 14+ is probably useless, but an enlarged AAC with the right schools could improve their lot), but I think the MAC (as well as the MWC and AAC) might have better leverage than others. It helps the MAC that they get along okay with the Big Ten. On top of what (little) they get, they don't have to look very far for a pay-out.