During the past year of realignment, the A10 picked up Charlotte and St. Louis. Both are quality programs in new markets for the conference.
But as the A10 has expanded, it has become apparent that there is some disparity in the type of programs in the league.
For some time now, fans of the A10 have mentioned that the league needs to "cut the fat" and oust some of the programs that are considered "cellar dwellers".
A program that comes to mind is Duqesne. It think this quote sums it up for them:http://www.dailyhampshiregazette.com/umhoop/hoopstory.cfm?id_no=12500302005PEEVED - Rarely one to hide his opinion, Duquesne coach Danny Nee is aggravated, not only at his team's 5-14 record, but at the school for not making good on promises to upgrade the school's facilities.
''It isn't an even keel when I go into Xavier and they have 10,000 people there and they're selling beer and their facilities are on campus,'' Nee told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. ''We can't get 4,000 here. There's some things that are going to have to be changed. We're going to have to make a commitment or we should go to another league.''
The time has come for a change. The NCAA has gone through some changes this past year and many expect the Big East to split in 2010. What will remain is a non-football Big East conference made of at least:
MarquetteThe A10 has the opportunity to distinguish itself and remain the best basketball confernece without I-A football. But to do so, they will need a few things to happen:
1) Hope that the new Big East won't poach any of it's top programs.
2) Cut the fat and build a stronger A10.What I would like to see happen:
Oust St. Bonaventure, Duquesne, Fordham and LaSalleRemaining: (10) team Atlantic 10
DaytonShould the Big East take 2 teams from the A10?
#1) Xavier: top A10 program; would replace Cincinnatti market with loss of football Bearcats.
#2) Dayton: great fan support and facilities. A close #2 to Xavier and is also a catholic school.
#3) St. Louis: would add the St. Louis market and increase the western footprint of the Big East.
#4) Charlotte: the first non-catholic school to make the list. Would give the Big East a basketball program right in the middle of ACC country.
#5) Richmond: since joining the A10 the Spiders have alreayd sene the benfits with an at-large NCAA invite. Georgetown president has lobbied for Richmond in the event of a split with the football schools.
#6) UMass: the program has struggled of late, but with the departure of Boston College, the Big East will be missing a school to highlight the Boston market. Football ambitions arUMass would need to be put to rest if they were to be considered seriously.If the A10 loses 1-2 schools (the new Big East would likely take only 1-2 schools since there are little benfits for a non-football conference to expand beyond 9.)....
Schools on the A10 radar:
great support and would give the A10 more mid-western exposure
new facilities and part of the Boston market. While their exposure is limited, it would add another school from the northeast region.
The school turned down the Big East in 1979 but like BU would help the NE market.
Would add the Norfolk market and fill the market gap between Richmond and Charlotte.
Mentioned last year as a potential candidate for market exposure and to balance the footprint.