fighting muskie wrote:
The Bishin Cutter wrote:
fighting muskie wrote:
Article out of Hampton Roads with comments from AD of CAA member JMU regarding his schools plans for a possible future FBS move at http://hamptonroads.com/2015/10/espn-ga ... s-will-fly
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James Madison had an opportunity to play FBS but they thumbed their noses at the prospect at beginning in a conference like the MAC or Sunbelt. If James Madison wants to move up they can't have a C-USA or bust attitude. Take a Sunbelt invite and start there. Eventually, there will be some realignment moves that offer James Madison a chance at C-USA but I think a lot of people are turned off by the way they treated the Sunbelt and bridges might already be burned.
I've read and heard stuff from JMU fans that span the gamut about the future of the FBS upgrade. Some think the school is under terrible leadership and let the opportunities slip by them by being snobs about their landing spot (Sun Belt). Others think the school is sitting on an invitation from MAC, with MAC just taking its time as it sorts through the UMass matter and finding an additional school to add with James Madison.
Honestly, I don't care where Madison goes once in FBS. It hits the fan in CAA and CAAF once Madison leaves. Even if some folks suspect Stony Brook as a future FBS member, taking them alone out of the CAA infighting doesn't remedy the politics spilling through that conference. There's talk CoC might want back into SoCon, and that SoCon would take them back. There's the Patsy invites for various CAAF programs and a full invite on the table for TCoW&M. There's Delaware and Towson FBS studies. There's AmEast restructuring to factor. It's...all over the place. And, if the A10 depletion a few years back could still backfill successfully while CAA couldn't, I'm not sure if the A10 would need to assist CAA in any way taking programs to replenish that wouldn't shift the political climate in that conference. I mean, Hofstra should just forget about being an A10 school...it's not going to happen as long as that conference has a basketball pulse.
The MAC would be a solid home for JMU but they'd need a 14th and UMass is content with being an independent until something comes available in the American. They don't seem interested in giving up A-10 basketball.
The CAA is a bit of a dumpster fire and demonstrates exactly why hybrid conferences are a bad idea. About the only thing CAA members have in common is that they think they should be a step above their regional competition. Northeastern, Hofstra, and Drexel will block any move that isn't basketball motivated and will spurn any expansion candidate north of the Mason Dixon. Delaware, Towson, and William & Mary seem like the ones interested in trying to keep things stable. UNC-Wilmington and College of Charleston keep trying to drag the footprint South and also ar thinking about only basketball. Then there's Elon--who knows why they agreed to join this mess.
When James Madison does move up I think that CAA will start to crumble. The 4 America East affiliates would like to move sponsorship of football to their conference. Rhode Island is an obvious ally for them and if Hofstra is going to continue to block Stony Brook from full membership then Delaware, Towson, and affiliate member Villanova might be convinced to cast their lot with the America East. William & Mary goes to Patriot (along with Richmond fb). Elon craws back to the SoCon with C of C and UNC-W in tow.
The MAC plays a mean game of poker...I don't know who they'd have ready to bring in if they do. Things have changed so much in FBS that MAC could maybe poach CUSA. I know Marshall's a hot topic for its mobility...some think there's AAC there, while others would welcome a return to MAC. You've got a couple of FCS programs that look like they fit. I still think there's potential for ODU and Charlotte. There are certainly bigger and better options out there than JMU, so I wouldn't be confident that things will be there for them over time. Honestly, they should be in FBS and trying to get elsewhere than being "down below" and waiting for the call-up.
No way does Elon get back to SoCon. That move to CAA pissed off SoCon members so much, because they really tried to work with Elon to keep its membership to something Elon wanted. Elon recruits eclectically institutionally, so the northeastern bent to CAA's footprint appealed to Elon on that front...but it wasn't an academic upgrade. SoCon even called them out on that. And, considering Elon was part of a game CAA was playing to lure out Furman and Davidson, which failed, it's not like CAA picked up any leverage to extract other schools from SoCon into CAA. Nobody desirable, I would think, that is.
I think hybrids can work. The problem really is the kind of schools and their philosophies on the matter. There are conferences that can get along based on a common vision. A10 gets by with a vision for basketball with public and private schools. CAA isn't a football or non-football issue. The problems are Hofstra and Northeastern because Hofstra always wanted the A10 call-up, and Northeastern the Patriot one, moving to CAA to get ahead of Boston, who got to Patriot ahead of them anyway.