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I do agree that basketball does not need 12, 14, or 16.
I agree too, so why go from 14 to 16? That has to be some kind of benefit for the A-10 or they will not do it.
Maybe the Atlantic 10 was planning for future defections when the conference expanded to 14. Charlotte and St Louis are both fairly good basketball programs in good markets, however, both do not justify expansion unless there is more to it that we all know. Maybe the A10 was unsure of St Bonaventure status or maybe there are future plans to work with the BE. The commish of the A10 use to work in the BE offices.
So what if the commish of the A10 used to work in the Big East offices. His most important priority is what is the most important for the A-10, not the Big East. Both in the short term and the long term.
If they are planning to work with the Big East, then why take Charlotte and St. Louis at all? Why go from 12 to 14 if they have these plans with the Big East? Seems to me if they had future plans to work with the Big East then they wouldn't have taken anyone. They would have 2 to 4 spaces reserved for teams that they could help the Big East out with (its hard for me to fathom them thinking of the Big East as the important factor in expansion). The point is that they took Charlotte and St. Louis because they could add to the quality of teams in their league. They did it for their own interests, not for another conferences. Going to 16 isn't necessarily going to be in the best interests of the A10 and that is the only reason why they would expand. If they were working with the Big East, they wouldn't have expanded in the first place, they would have reserved those spots for Big East teams.
It seems far fetched anyway, because the Big East had the picks of teams after the ACC took their 3 teams. If the Big East truely wanted more teams from the CUSA, they would have taken more at that time. You say its best to wait on growing. But they have left themselves w/o the ability to expand later, because they don't have all-sports membership available by taking DePaul and Marquette. They should have taken Memphis and ECU or UCF then. Teams are scarce after all this realignment, they must have known that no teams would be available for further near-term expansion, so why stop at UL, UCincy, and USF?
So what you are saying is almost that they A10 took Charlotte and St. Louis because they wanted to work with the BE, which doesn't make sense. I guess this is the BE secondary plan, get the A10 to work with you, so take Charlotte and St. Louis into your conference. If this is the case, they wouldn't have taking Charlotte and St. Louis in the first place.
It also seems a bit of a stretch that they are looking to kick out a team or two for the Big East, even if St. Bonnie didn't do too well. If this is the case, they would've kicked them out before their recent expansion, and, thus, made more room for Charlotte and St. Louis.
As far as being worried about other defections from the A10 (good teams I guess), where would they go to? The MAC? The CAA? The A10 is the best conference other than the Big East in the northeast. There's no room in the Big East, nor in CUSA, so where would St. Joseph go? The Patriot League? This doesn't make sense.
The BE could expand with football only members if the need is to get more than 8 members and decide on a split at a latter time.
Yes, but right now the only teams available 1-A that do not need to move out of a conference (so their other sports still have a home) are Temple, Army, Navy, and Norte Dame. There also a number of 1-AA teams in the NE that could move up and it wouldn't impact their affialiation with conferences that they are members in for their other sports, including basketball. This includes UMass, UDelaware, Fordham, Villanova, and many others.
Your scenario where the A-10 provides spaces for 1 to 2 members for the Big East for the purposes of luring a CUSA team can only happen if the A10 wants to do it. The only way that the A10 would want to do it, is that such a move would benefit them in the short and long term. If it doesn't, they won't do it. They are not just going to do it to help out the Big East, they are only going to do it if it benefits them. To me it just overcrowds their league too much, so I don't see how it benefits the A10.
So to me the only really likely choices in the short term are Temple (unless they are already off to CUSA), Army, and Navy and that's it. The A10 thing is a possibility and so is Norte Dame, but IMO, both are unlikely.
The conference has more options on expansion and a split does not prevent the conference from making any moves for football if that is what the conference wants to do. This does not imply the confernce is interested in more than a 9th football members. The point is there are different options on expanding and a split does not have to be part of those options regardless if we think all sports are better than a hybrid. Unlike Conf USA expansion, the BE, ACC and other BCS conferences use revenue potential to help determine the best method of expansion.
No, theoretically, "The Split" does not have to happen. Army, Navy, and Temple are viable and likely options for a short term 9th member candidates.
The A10 offering 2 memberships for other sports so 2 football only members could join (most likely CUSA members), is only possible if the A10 sees it benefiting them, otherwise they are not going to do it. Why? If there's nothing in it for them, and by doing it, there is potential harm they could do to their own league (overcrowding and possible mass future defections because of a possible Big East breakup), then they are not going to do it. IMO, this is not likely an option. Its theoretically an option, but not likely. I don't see it being a viable option for the long term either, as the longer that CUSA members are together and the more they are building towards a 7th or 8th BCS auto seed in 2011, the less compelled they would be to leave CUSA for the Big East.
The only other choice, for the long term, is to move-up 1-AA teams that will not lose their affiliation with conferences in which they are currently members of, by becoming a Big East football-only member. I think this is a possibility for the long term.
So the most likely options in the short term are Temple, Army, and Navy. For the long term, 1-AA move ups, IMO.
Unless the A10, or the Big East makes room for football-only members to join the Big East -- makes room for all their other sports, and do so very soon. If its not very soon, CUSA members moving to the Big East in future years is less likely, IMO.