The Bishin Cutter wrote:
That there's a "north" to both CUSA and AAC...that's precisely the problem. The issue with both conferences have been getting way too heavy in the south without proper northern balance.
It's part of the problem. Balance is good, so is continuity. The pattern is to gravitate toward what's best available. While a conference may want to guard against over-saturation in a relatively condensed geographic area, stretching to places where there's beeen little prior connection, no tradition, differing priorities, plus major travel, cannot be counted on to offer a smooth flow.
Bowls and out-of-conference games were suppose to be where the 'separated' met. Now, 'being almost all over the place' is an accepted concept in the effort to enhance exposure.
The SunBelt, for example, shall have Idaho fb in the same conference with Georgia Southern all-sports. Plug-ins' and stretching are presented as logical decisions to meet needs, while missing a fundamental, yet strategic purpose. It would make sense for Georgia Southern to be playing peers in Florida, the Carolinas, Tennessee and Alabama, and in Louisiana and Kentucky, fine too, wherever the closer peer-type institutions may be. Georgia Southern vs Arkansas State, looks and sounds good as frequent. Georgia Southern vs anybody beyond that as yearly competition; why should such be needed or desired?
A conference having 2 divisions in completely separate regions is not an assurance of overall continuity. Even the 2 divisions of the 14 members each in the B1G and SEC have traditions and considerable continuity carried-over into it, and the regionalism involved have clear and mostly crisp concepts of purpose.
We're talking about sports programs (AAC, CUSA, SunBelt, etc.) with very limited budgets and why deprive fans that like to follow? These lower-profile conferences are not going to get oodles of money out of the TV quests. Regionalism with rivalry intensity need not be sacrificed.