Fresno St. Alum wrote:
Does the little twisted face and me saying seriously I can't explain the reason they fell off? somehow mean I think the current CUSA is even close to A-10? I guess I'll have to put (JUST KIDDING) like that! I said Charlotte and St.Louis were good when CUSA was at its best in bball. What's weird is that after they leave to the A10 which is similar to the old CUSA (talent wise) that had Cincy, Louisville, Marquette, Memphis and UAB, they all of a sudden started sucking.
I didn't interpret your smilie face correctly. But even if I did, you know I'd have said all that stuff anyway!
It's funny how perception works. The A-10 and CUSA were peers:
CUSA: 39 NCAAs (8 S16, 3 EE, 2 FF)
A10: 33 (7 S16, 6 EE, 1 FF)
That's really close. Especially if you consider how perception influences at-large bids.
C-USA was perceived to be a much better league because their marquee teams were the top dogs in their markets, while Temple, Saint Joe's, Xavier, GW and UMass were basically the "second schools" in their market (to Villanova, Cincinnati, Georgetown, Boston College).
C-USA was more top-heavy, and the A-10 was deeper. Some of SLU, Charlotte and UAB's success in C-USA was because the top three (out of Cincy, Louisville, Marquette, Memphis or DePaul) were strong enough that it carried in the #4 or #5 team.
Very similar to how Richmond made the dance in 2004 on the strength of Saint Joe's, Dayton and Xavier. Richmond was 1-5 vs the "Big Three" of the A-10 that year, and 1-5 vs Top 50 teams OOC. But their computer numbers were great, they had a pair of marquee wins (Xavier, Kansas), and they went 17-1 vs everyone else.
So when SLU and Charlotte go to the A-10, and the league is deeper but without flag-bearers that are as good, and they finish lower in the standings than they did in C-USA and don't make the dance. Saint Louis has been 7-9 or better in the A-10 every year, with a third and fourth place finish and not made the dance until this year.
If it was recruiting woes, it's the perception of being "Stuck in a lower league" (which isn't true) that hurt SLU and Charlotte more than actually moving to the A-10.
I can understand the fans mindset of "hey, this sucks." There were A LOT of Richmond fans who were pissed when the Spiders left the CAA for the A-10. No brainer for their administration, but their season ticket sales plummeted. They wanted to see the rivalries. But 2004 won them over. They realized that they would NOT host three ranked teams in CAA, and NOT get an at-large without the A-10 that year.
Far too many people realize that Conference re-alignment is a two-way street. It's not "what do they bring to the conference" but "what they can do in the conference."
I'm seeing it now on CAA boards (lots of GMU/VCU fans would be against a move to the A-10) and the Gonzaga board (overwhelmingly against adding Pacific).
A better conference opens doors and makes a program better. If you're a good program prior to joining a better conference, you can go to new heights in a new conference (See USF for prime example).