The Summit League is a conference on the rise having ranked anywhere from #13 to #15 out of 31 conferences last year in men's basketball in the various computer ranking systems.
North Dakota is a logical addition but perhaps have no place for their football program to go as the MVFC is probably full at this point. Also there is bad blood between UND and some in the conference.
Tom Douple, the commissioner of The Summit has recenty stated that the Summit could go to 14 teams tomorrow if it desired to but instead was going to look for the right fit not just numbers. (I am guessing that we has referring to most of the schools in the WAC as the teams that would join if given a chance, Chicago State, UT-RGO, Utah Valley State, UMKC and depending on what happens eventually with Sunbelt, maybe even NMSU).
Here is my list (with no inside information) of teams where there might be some mutual interest and some of the issues/advantages.
North Dakota - natural fit geographically and historically with the other Dakota schools but perhaps no place for football to go as the MVFC is probably full and I think the four schools that currently have football, SDSU, USD, NDSU, and Western Illinois, are happy in the MVFC.
Northern Colorado- good travel partner for Denver, same football issue as UND
Arkansas-Little Rock= good travel partner for Oral Roberts, no football issue
Eastern Illinois - brings some east/west balance to the conference, good travel partner for Western Illinois, same football problem as mentioned above.
Other Possibilities, Ohio Valley schools in the eastern footprint all of whom do not sponsor football.
Southern Illinois Edwardsville
I expect to see an addition in time for the 15-16 season.
Welcome aboard Rabbit74. We're glad that you're here in the CollegeSportsInfo forums. About your response, I guess you took some time to re-analyze about this topic and decided to express your thoughts about it. Nothing personal, since this is an open forum for us fans to express our opinions, analysis and suggestions about conference alignment stuff within every league, here is what I can understand:
Wow! About 14 seems a huge goal. If I was the Summit commish, I would go proposing with at least 12 as the right number; and within that number, the expansion candidates would be based on the geographic footprint (within the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas and possibly Colorado). And if the conference wanted to, it should add football, but also depending if most of those candidates sponsor that sport or not. But in order for the Summit to sponsor football, the Summit schools (NDSU, SDSU, USD, WIU) For what I understand is that the Summit is mostly an Upper Midwest-based conference. I would send the Indiana schools (IUPUI & IPFW) to the Horizon League, and to replace them would be what I'm about to state with your candidates list:
Eastern Illinois (former member)
With those additions (despite their current issues), it could let the Summit to sponsor football with at least 7 members (the FCS minimum, comparing to the 8-team FBS minimum counterpart). In the process, the MVFC would split, possibly forcing the MVC to sponsor football with most of their members (Illinois St., Indiana St., Southern Illinois, Missouri St., Northern Iowa), plus adding already full member in Drake from non-scholarship, with an associate member in either Valparaiso or Butler or Youngstown St.
For the non-football schools in the Summit, UALR, SIUE, NKU & Belmont seem ok.
Anyways, anything can happen when it comes to conference realigment. Maybe the 2015-16 season might be an impact of a factor for the conference.
By the way, thanks for sharing your thoughts about this expansion realignment discussion.