Also, I think the best case scenario for the southern strategy is to focus on basketball regardless of whether or not the program has an FCS team. By adding Elon, who will be included in virtually any southern expansion scenario, the CAA has 5 all sports FCS members, assuming Stony Brook and Albany are added as all sports members. Villanova and URI will vote for status quo so really as long as the CAA has 4 all sports FCS members the league will be ok and stable under the CAA banner.
I definitely think it is a good idea for the CAA to maintain the FCS league b/c that opens up the league to expansion to any quality basketball candidate that has an FCS team and would need a home for that program.
If W&M joins the Patriot league and Richmond also follow as a fb only, what makes you think Nova would stay in the CAA when fellow Big Easter Georgetown plays fb over there too?
By going along with the Catholic 7 schools Nova has hitched its ride to academics and bball, any FBS dream is gone so naturally playing Richmond, W&M, Georgetown, plus schools like Fordham, Colgate, Holy Cross trump playing Albany, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine and Stoney Brook.
Fine they have nearby UDel (who might be the MACs #14) and Towson, but the Patriot as Lehigh, Bucknell, and Lafeyette.
IF W&M leaves I think we see a move to a purely Northern conference as the CAA will take every fb playing member of the AE and a few others like Cen Conn St, Bryant, and Monmouth just to survive and keep their TV deal.
because villanova likes their annual game with delaware. threatening delaware's football conference stability is not a good way to maintain said annual game.
again depending upon the requirement for expansion, it is likely the CoC and UNCW can veto pure northern expansion. In a 9 team ACC, 3 members were able to block expansion, so I would imagine in a 7 team CAA, 2 members would be able to veto anything that did not take into consideration their interests.
The CAA tv deal covers production costs but does not give much if any financial windfall to its members. Its a great deal for a small conference like the CAA no doubt, but NBC Sports is not likely to cancel it because at worst the CAA provides cheap quality programming for its RSN's in the Midatlantic, PA, and New England areas. Plus its not like NBC Sports has anything else to show collegiate sports wise.
So, unless CoC and UNCW are given an acceptable safe haven somewhere else, the CAA will have to include southern teams. The FCS league will of course be preserved under the CAA banner, but programs without quality basketball will not likely be added simply in order to save the football league.