Fresno St. Alum wrote:
JP lets say the BE adds Butler, Xavier, St.Louis, Dayton, Creighton
Who does the A10 get, do they go back to 14 or just 12?
Remember, the Atlantic 10 saw this coming. The reason we took Charlotte, Saint Louis, Butler and VCU was because we all thought the Big East would split after 2010. We didn't go to 14 and 16 because of an expansionist agenda, it was padding for when the Big East's Big Blow came so could absorb it. We won't be mad-scrambling for teams out of weakness, worried about being gutted like a fish (like Big East football!). We took those teams preemptively so that the MVC, CAA, Horizon or MAAC couldn't make a power-play to usurp us.
So, I'd expect 12. For a while. Then revisit.
JP, I think some of the fears by A10 fans are warranted. But it should mostly be about Xavier leaving.
On the other end, that's one of the problems with potential A10 candidates. People still talk about GMU in the CAA. But it's important to remember that they lost their coach...
… But that's the whole region potentially leaving and it will hurt. Because the quality fo the replacements is not great.
Your coaching point on Mason is a damned good one.
But most importantly: the quality of replacements is not great.
There's three schools I'd consider, and three schools only. Not because I think we're better than everyone else (ok, I do think that), but imagine a "Atlantic 10 Replaces Xavier, Temple, Butler, Dayton, Saint Louis and Charlotte with… Siena." headline. No disrespect to Siena, but you're talking about 89 NCAA bids and Six Final Fours being replaced by Siena's 4-6 NCAA record.
There'd be TWO SCHOOLS available to us that have gotten an at-large bid in the last TWENTY YEARS. George Mason has done it twice, and Iona being the other.
If you compare teams like Siena and Iona to teams like La Salle and Duquense, you know what the difference is? Siena and Iona have earned auto-bids playing in conferences that don't have Xavier, Temple, Dayton, Saint Joe's, etc, etc.
Despite the coaching change, Mason has a Final Four banner hanging in their gym that isn't 40 years old and no one else available to us does. Their name recognition is fading, but no one else really has any to begin with.
So they're my 12th. And if UMass leaves, I take either Quinnipiac or Stony Brook to remain at 12. Both are spending money on athletics and trying to up their game. No one available to us brings TV so why bother splitting the small contract we'd get any further.
The biggest problem facing the A-10 if we lose all those guys has nothing to do with basketball or membership. It would be the perception that we're a "mid-major who just lost all our best teams, making us a one-bid league."
So, I don't think you try to replace five or six departing members. Before you try to sell your product in more markets, you need to show everyone that your product is still a good one first.