So if Mercer, ETSU, and Kennesaw State get the big promotion to the SoCon, how can the Atlantic Sun stay viable? NKU is reclassifying until July 2017. If the Big South loses VMI and chooses to replace them with another Atlantic Sun school (let's use USC Upstate in this example) the conference is in big trouble:
Atlantic Sun 2014;
Florida Gulf Coast
At this point NJIT has to be brought on for a sixth full member (has some implications for tournament credits), but the league still needs one more by July 1, 2016. The alternative might be that James Madison is finally lured to FBS, and the CAA is left on the carving table:
Florida Gulf Coast
College of Charleston
William & Mary
Drexel or James Madison
The ASun is nearly at the bottom of the barrel...here's the basic order omitting the academically focused and historically black conferences (Ivy/Patriot/SWAC/MEAC) since they have different standards.
FBS AQs: (SEC/B1G/PAC12) > (ACC/B12)
FBS non AQs: (MWC/AAC) > (MAC/CUSA) > (SBC)
Best non fb: Big East > (A10/WCC) > MVC
Best FCS: CAA/Southland/BigSky
Best of the Rest: MAAC/SoCon/Horizon/AEC/Big West
Next Best: OVC/BigSouth/NEC
Worst (almost solely taking upgrades/independents): ASun>(WAC/Summit)
The CAA like the Big East fb schools (AAC) will not die, they'll raid any of the bottom three tiers of schools...if the SoCon holds together (with that loyalty pledge) they'd move up into the same tier as the CAA/BSkyC/SLC and the CAA would have to raid the AEC (Albany/StoneyBrooke) Big South (Liberty/VMI/Coastal Carolina) Horizon (Detroit/YSU/Clev St/Valpo) MAAC (Marist/Iona/Monmouth) NEC (CenConnSt/Bryant/Wagner) OVC (JAX St/Belmont/Morehead St) ASun (same as SoCon plus FL Gulf Coast) for its next members which would reap the good TV deal for the next few years.
In conclusion, the CAA will not join the ASun.
Fan of the Big 12 Conference, the Mountain West Conference and...