The Bishin Cutter wrote:
With 14 NCAA men's basketball tournament appearances under their belt, I think the Sun Belt is very much in play. Eight of those trips were in the SBC...I think they'd be glad to have them back.
The dilemma I see with conferences that sponsor football and UAB is their success in college basketball. If you're CUSA, who's replacing UAB in that regard? Dipping into the Belt, unless it's for USA or ULL, does you no good. And as long as LaTech's around, ULL isn't even really on the table. And maybe USA doesn't have much support, either. I might be wrong, but I don't think CUSA can even pick off MAC programs, so there's no relief there, either. NMSU? I doubt UTEP would be thrilled...
If they get kicked out, I think SBC gets them. OVC, SoCon, and maybe CAA might try and grab them. Big South and ASun will definitely reach out regardless (and probably already have). I kind of wish MVC would look at them...but it's a tough bridge to build.
CUSA doesn't even need to reach into the SBC to replace UAB. There is always JMU ready and waiting. That would put 6 schools in the east....6 in the south....and 2 in Florida. Seems like a pretty even split to me. Send one Florida school to each half...and your done.
Oh, I know JMU would want this really bad, but what does JMU actually contribute to the conference? If you're CUSA, and you already have VA, WV, NC, KY, and TN covered, what does JMU truly give you? ODU's the one in the right part of the state. ODU's the one with a good basketball program. ODU's the one that actually had support from within the conference (at least ECU wanted them).
I'm not convinced CUSA wouldn't just go into GA, back into TX, or look into USA. I mean, unless JMU has a ton of support, which I'm not sure they do, as you'd think that if they did, this would be done already, wouldn't it?