Fresno St. Alum wrote:
Thinking long-term, the CAA is a bit vulnerable in terms of their numbers.
Delaware and JMU are top FCS programs and rumors constantly have them contemplating FBS (are they really, or is it just bloggers saying that ?)
GMU has done well in NCAA BB, however the program could take a huge hit if the coach were to suddeenly take a better job elesewhere,
or his crop of top players graduate / leave for NBA, etc. (it's tough to keep a mid-major BB program up near the top...)
Right now they are at 9 schools. For the long haul, they don't want to be in position of flirting with 8 or less, or schools will start looking elsewhere,
like rats jumping off a sinking ship. Where does the CAA look for replacements ?
SoCon has some quality schools, but they would be tacked on to the southern end of the CAA, and Davidson made a determination that it's more attractive to stay put.
CAA has some northern schools that become increasingly isolated if the CAA expands southward.
A potential solution -
I see AE as CAA's sister conferences - they have a bit of geographical overlap, and each conf. has 4 FCS schools in the CAA FB league.
Merge and re-allocate schools into N-S divisions. Reduce travel for schools at extreme northern & southern ends of the merged group.
The numbers go up to 17-18, and if a few schools ever contemplate going elsewhere, it's much less of a big deal for a conference that size.
I think the GMU flight risk is smaller than you think. They already lost their coach to Miami. It will take good things form GMU before someone comes calling for a retread like Hewitt.
Say UMass goes to CUSA or BE, then who is the option? GMU was all but in until 2 schools left the A10 so they didn't want to have 15. Creighton is an option but Omaha is so far away I don't know if they'd go.
I was referencing Tute's mention of GMU having to worry about losing their coach. Since they already lost their coach to Miami, and Hewitt being the replacement, it's less of an issue. But yes, if the A10 lost a school, I'm sure GMU would be high on the list. With the Butler addition in the midwest, along with St. Louis, Xaiver and Dayton, all of a sudden a replacement from that region isn't a stretch, like a Creighton.
But for the CAA, they best hope CofC makes the move manana. Striking out with all 3 targets will be tough to swallow. But the CAA that we knew is no more, regardless. No VCU, no ODU. That's like the Pac-12 losing UCLA and USC and having to look at New Mexico and UNLV as replacements. Those 2 schools did a lot for the CAA, sad and tough to see them gone.