So I think we all expected to hear something on the non-FB side of the CAA expansion by now.
It seemed that only C of C pressed forward with taking the matter to their BoT, on August 3rd. Crickets....
Could the CAA be satisfied with addiing a FB affilate to get to the CAA FB league to 12, and just one all-sports (likely non FB) school to get the CAA to 10 ?
Rampant raiding of other conferneces could result in unintended consequences.
The WAC (sinking fast) is still reeling from Karl Benson's "project", where he was thinking of raiding the MWC, and suddenly the raider became the raided.
The SoCon might part willingly with a non-FB member without much reaction. If the CAA went after the heart of the confernece, the SoCon could counter by inviting the
southern flank of the CAA.
So far, the CAA FB expansion has been very thoughtful and not disruptive (all AE FB schools are now under the CAA umbrella).
This could have been accomplished any time during the past 4-5 years, however Yeager may have never wanted to go above 12,
and waited to move on Stony Brook and Albany until after UMass, ODU, and Ga. St. announced their departure.
Why does the CAA need more than 10 all-sports members ?
Add C of C for all sports (non-FB),
move CCSU to AE / CAA FB,
ask Northeastern and UMBC if they'd like to swap conferneces.
Going overboard can breed some serious bad blood between the various conferences.
If the CAA takes too many form the SoCON, then they cannibalize the Big South, and so on... I think most schools really prefer stability.
I think that you have schools like C of C and Davidson, now looking at the CAA for some different reasons. There is little doubt that the CAA is a much worse conference with ODU and VCU gone. To an extent, GA St. as well, since it was some type of access into Atlanta...but that is like saying (right now at least) that Drexel gives "access" to Philly or NU gives "access" to Boston. Neither does much, but with GA St. there was more potential, due to their investment in athletics.
That said, oddly, CofC passed on CAA overtures back when GA St. and NU were brought in. So why would CofC consider leaving now? Because they are seeing schools leave for FBS, and they know App St. and GA Southern likely will too. And if you're the SoCon, that means you have only, really, the Big South to look at.
It would seem that for CofC to consider the CAA, it meant that either:
1) the CAA is willing to put football aside as top priority and make moves for the more stable, non-football sports. Adding Albany and Stony Brook for FB only falls into this category. So if your CofC, and the conference is willing to put basketball first, the sport you have, then being with similar basketball schools can be a help. And the access to the northeast is a benefit without the risk of finding yourself in a conference that is adding all sorts of northern all-sports schools that would put CofC to far away from the conference base.
2) The CAA is willing to go beyond the potential CofC and Davidson additions with (2) more "local" area schools that will not likely have FBS aspirations. We heard Elon and Furman. Not sexy picks for all-sports, but if you're Davidson and CofC, and you can pretty much lock up a southern "division" (in name only, not a real 6/6 split) with CofC, Davidson, Elon, Furman, W&M and UNCW, you'r ein a safe spot: you get lots of close bus trips for your sports, but also get a few of those "northern" games in Maryland (Towson), DC (GMU), Delaware, Philly (Drexel), NY (Hofstra), Boston (NU).