If the BE split costs them 5-7 schools (especially the top ones) are they even superior to a conference like the CAA?
Yes. Yes they are. Aside from George Mason, no one in the CAA has ever received an at-large bid. The A-10 has a much better tradition, reputation, market presence and remaining schools.
Right, so George Mason is the only school any good in the south-ish area. They were invited and didn't come while the conference had all its top members. So you're trying to tell me you think they'll come after they lose the top 8 schools?
I agree that name wise the A-10 beats out the conferences in the area which is why I think the name will be kept.
VCU may look at going back to the CAA if they're left out for Richmond.
Why? The CAA and A10 would each need more members; and it's clear that the most recent success of the remaining 18 members of the two leagues is by VCU and George Mason. Those two essentially pick which group to build around:
Group A: 8 NCAA bids, 4 NCAA wins the last decade; 49 NCAA bids, 49 NCAA wins all-time, (4 Final Fours, 4 EEs, 9 S16s)
Group B: 3 NCAA bids, 1 NCAA win the last decade; 33 NCAA bids, 9 NCAA wins all-time (0 S16s)
So I'm assuming you've removed VCU and GMU from the groups. I guess we're looking at the same data and getting different conclusions. If group B is the CAA why on earth would the remaining 6 A-10 schools WANT to add a bunch of teams from the south, none of which will likely lead to any extra tournament appearances and just mean having to split the pie more ways. And if you're a southern CAA school, why on earth would you want to add to your travel and play a bunch of Big East rejects? Because you may get an extra couple wins per decade?
But most of all, you're hung up on the all time numbers. The schools left in either conference have not had much success in the past decade aside from VCU and GMU.
The American East wouldn't look so bad for Rhode Island. I would think an AEast/A10 merger would be considered. The A10 name is pretty good so I would probably keep that.
Let me go ask a URI fan what they think of that.
Certainly now it doesn't sound good. But when they're only left with La Salle and St. Bona and the small schools that were left out due to their lack of market penetration, it seems clear the A-10 wouldn't be getting many $$$ so at that point would you prefer joining a conference with less travel? Remember this was the school that had to leave the CAA football due to the lack of northeastern teams and that was just one sport.
Maybe if I do it this way. I expect the Big East 7 to expand to 14 with these 6 and Creighton.
Butler - Big East
Dayton - Big East
Duquesne - Big East
UMass - BE Football
Richmond - Big East
St. Louis - Big East
Xavier - Big East
Fordham, George Washington, La Salle, URI, St Bona, St Joe's, VCU (throw in one more, Duquesne maybe, if you think the Big East only goes to 12).
Do they really have the ability to steal top schools like George Mason from the CAA? I say no which is why I see Fordham to the Patriot full time and VCU looking to join George Mason in the CAA (though maybe GMU didn't join the A-10 was because the conference was too good, wanted to stay in a weaker conference?). The two can dominate the conference and get two bids most years.
The only reason I would say A-10/AE merger wouldn't happen is because they'd want to keep the auto bid. Then maybe they find a way to stay alive. URI is a public school so even if the MAAC wanted to house some A-10 schools, they likely wouldn't be included.