Ha. I just want to point this out (and ______ my own ________; tis the season after all)...
On an A-10 forum last May, when UMass' FBS rumors were circulating and them joining the Big East with Temple was out there as a possiblity, I said:
My order would be:
#1 - Creighton
#2 - Florida Gulf Coast
#3 - George Mason
#4 - Boston U
#5 - Davidson
And when I was called crazy:
I'm glad you were reading the FGCU thing, though. They don't have the pedigree. They have the potential. They have infrastructure. They have a president hell-bent on making FGCU a big time school.
They've won more regular conference titles than anyone else in the Atlantic Sun in the last four years, and they weren't eligible for the post-season until this year. Their WBB team made the WNIT their FIRST YEAR in Division I, and the NCAA Tourney the first year they were eligible for that. Their MBB team hasn't been doing so well, but 15-17 with that recruiting pitch is pretty solid.
They are GOING TO BE GOOD. They are going to be moving up the conference ladder.
Both USF and UCF have gone from A-Sun to Big East in the span of 10 years. FGCU is next. They GET IT. They are committed to athletics. If the A-10 says "You need to spend X on basketball" they are going to spend X+ on basketball, if they aren't already.
It adds a new market, new recruiting territory (Hey, no one wants to go to Bona in Feb, what about sunny Florida?). They'd probably leave us in 10 years after adding football, but so be it. You find the next one.
We can look at schools that have been in DI for a while and haven't done much with the exception of Creighton (who fits but is far away), or George Mason (who've done it ONCE but not often). Or we can look for a program that while far away is still a nice getaway trip, and on the rise.
It's not that crazy. Why did C-USA go with UCF over La Tech? Potential and infrastructure. Why did the Big East go with USF and UCF over ECU? Neither had won diddle compared to ECU. Because of potential and infrastructure.
They took a pretty big step today.