[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.
I hate to be a buzz kill....but, this plan has no chance of working.
First off,...you don't just send away two OLY schools(IUPUI and IUPU FW)...just to replace them with some others. It doesn't work that way.
Second, N. Colorado isn't leaving the Big Sky to come to the Summit...just to play against Denver and North Dakota.
Third, E. Illinois and SIUE aren't leaving the OVC to make a sideways move to the Summit.
Also, why would Belmont leave the OVC where they play many close schools to play in the Summit where all the schools are much further away. The Horizon maybe, but not the Summit.
The Summit doesn't offer more money or TV contracts...so, they have nothing to entice these schools.
And, how do you lure UALR away from the SBC?
....most of these moves to fill the Summit aren't realistic. And I doubt that the MVFC would just sit still and let a bunch of schools depart without doing something about it. And that something....won't be recruiting a bunch of non-scholarship schools to join.
Also, you can't replace scholarship fb programs with non-scholarship programs. They are not an even trade.
So, while I enjoy hearing some unique ideas....this one doesn't seem to have much of a chance for success based on the movements listed. Remember....the OVC just increased their buyout clause for leaving the conference. And since the Summit doesn't offer more money...why would schools incur that expense, plus the entrance fee for the Summit?