Strategically, the best plan might have been to get the FBS football up and running in the SunBelt,
however there are a lot more factors to look at.
Right now an an FCS school, JMU's athletic budget isn't that large, and joining the SunBelt means
that their Olympic sports would have to make a ton of trips to Texas.
Their nearest rival in the SBC (pre-CCU) would have been Appalachia State, and then some schools in Georgia and Alabama.
(In CUSA, they've got ODU, Marshall, WKU, and UNC-Charlotte.
(but a lot of Texas teams there too).
Both conferences are rather Texas-centric. I'm not sure JMU's move to FBS isn't ill-advised.
It seems more like a despearte attempt to keep up with ODU.
In FBS, their financial resources will be stretched and their travel will be much worse than in the CAA.
They would give up a lot, for some perceived grab at "football glory".
I think all their other sports would be better off in the CAA.
The G5 FBS conferences are NOT flush with money; you have to be in a P5 conference to really reap in the big TV $$$.
It's true that both C-USA and Sunbelt membership would require travel to Texas but divisional play would minimize the number of trips. Let's take a look at basketball for instance:
4 Texas schools so you are guaranteed to need to make a weekend trip annually to play two games (other two Texas teams played at home)
another annual weekend trip to play 1-2 of the following: UAB, USM, LA Tech (1 or 2 of those schools would visit JMU)
either a flight to Miami to play FAU and FIU or a flight to Nashville to play MTSU and WKU over the weekend. (Home and Homes against eastern division opponents)
Charlotte, Marshall, and ODU are all bus trips (Home and Homes against eastern division opponents)
2 flights to 2 of the following 3 destinations: Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas (3 of those 6 schools will be visiting JMU)
an annual trip to Alabama to play Troy and USA
an annual trip to Georgia to play GA Southern and GA St
a drive to Coastal Carolina
Yes, it's a fair amount of flying but as it stands now JMU is probably flying to Boston, NYC, and possibly Philadelphia for CAA games.