The Bishin Cutter wrote:
VCU and GMU are both VA state system schools, and are best-served moving as a unit being the VA schools without football. Honestly, I see this as a way for both programs to assist the Colonial to sort out what just happened to them. And, in all seriousness, how could the CAA, the mighty CAA, a respected multi-bid eastern basketball conference and probably FCS's most prominent conference, go from stud status to dud in so short a time?
The CAA deserves to fight for its existence, and, a shocker in these times, not every program is a climbing gold-digger. The A-10 will wait for quality and class...I think VCU and GMU exemplify this.
No disrespect to a quality league, but the CAA has been a one-bid league in 15 of the last 18 seasons (all three came after the RPI formula changed). That being said, as an advocate for "non-football" schools in the Dance, I've been saying they SHOULD have been a multi-bid league a lot more (Drexel in 2012 and 2007, Hofstra in 2006, Richmond in 2001 for example).
But the main thing I disagree with is the idea that it's somehow nobel to remain loyal members of the CAA when you have the opportunity to move to the A-10.
Conferences are a self-serving concept. There isn't much about them that aren't. Sure, "like-minded institutions working together," is how they formed. But that in and of itself has always been self-serving, and it's morphed into less positive qualities now.
You have a conference because it's in your best interest: Scheduling, Rivalries (aka revenue), negotiating with a TV network together, creating conference awards to feel good about yourself and give yourselves trophies.
Loyalty is a good thing, but a conference is the wrong thing to be loyal to. Look at it this way, you went to college, right? You had roommates and a dorm room, right? You're loyal to YOUR ROOMMATES, not to THE ROOM. This isn't all that much different. Implying that leaving for another conference is disloyal is like being mad at a roommate for leaving the dorm and moving in with his fiance. Schools grow and change just like people.
I'm an A-10 guy. I "hate" Temple and UMass from my time at St Bona, and I "hate" Xavier from my time at Dayton. But I only hate them from January to UD/Bona's final buzzer in the conference tournament. I root for Xavier & Temple in the NCAAs and UMass in the NIT (tee hee). I don't hate Temple for leaving for the Big East. I understand. They have football. It's a move they have to make. I hope they walk into the Big East and pimp-slap everybody. I'd love to see them go 21-0 regular season and BE Tourney champions.
Why is George Mason and VCU being loyal to the CAA a good thing?
Mason formed the conference with Navy, ECU, American and Richmond, who are all gone now. Old Dominion and Georgia State came and left. VCU landed there when they dropped football.
The CAA added Delaware, Towson and Georgia State for football reasons. It added four schools that aren't similar (private, not public) for self-serving means.
"Like-minded institutions" now means "best group we can be part of." The CAA's been that way for a while now.
Does VCU and GMU have more in common with Drexel, Hofstra (small private, northern, no football), William & Mary (small private, southern with football), JMU and Towson (medium, public, Southern, football) or Wilmington (small, public, southern, no football)?
The A-10 isn't "different" from Mason/VCU any more than the CAA is different from them. They're going to be in a conference with diverse institutions either way. At least in the A-10, the most common denominator is the strongest ("We're basketball schools") whereas in CAA what IS the common denominator for those schools?
VCU and Mason probably have a lot more in common with the A-10 than CAA going forward.