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Since the public announcement of an upgrade to the football "stadium" we have now it's pretty clear we are moving up in terms of scholarship football. As has been discussed here many times 1-AA non-scholarship football is evaporating and by next year there may only be two viable leagues left-NEC and the Pioneer.

For as long as we've been discussing it we've asssumed the Brook would be moving right along with us as they just constructed a new stadium and have mirrored us in every other aspect of D1. I agree the Brook will be going with us but I have to wonder what is going on in the AD's offices of the other football members of the NEC. They have to realize the same thing we do and McElroy does that non-scholarship 1-AA football is going away. I know Robert Morris is building a new stadium and they are smack in the middle of football country so they have no plans on discontinuing football. Sacred Heart has put a little more commitment into it's program over the last few years and Monmouth had a banner year winning the conference in football and going to the bowl game and winning in hoops and going to the NCAA. I have to think at least half the conference is considering moving up in terms of scholarships and I don't see why they wouldn't do it as a conference. I don't know CCSU or Wagner's situation and I'm pretty sure you'd lose St. Francis but it seems likely enough to me. I had thought we'd jump conferences but I don't see one to go to and have to wonder if the conference would just jump up in scholarships with most of it's teams on board. If it doesn't it probably won't exist in the future.

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I think this all depends on UNH and NU at first. I think a move, by UA, will be predicated on what happens w/ A-Ten football.

 

Personally, I see the following as the most likely scenerio.

 

NU makes a huge mistake and leaves. UNH plays football in the CAA but comes back when the AE forms a conference.

 

UNH, UMASS, URI, RICHMOND, UA, STONY BROOK, Villanova, MAINE form a football conference. NOT TO SHABBY!

 

The final dominos go like this:

 

CCSU and or Monmouth get invited to join the AE or as associate memebers in football. Don't laugh. Gives the AE another greater Hartford area presence, a Jersey presence (talk about recruiting coups for the football teams), and both are very solid in the Olympic Sports. Let us not forget that both schools were the NEC participants in the tourney for the past two years.

 

Hofstra....wow...this is the enigma. Do they come home to the AE? I think, if football is sponsored, you will see them come home.

 

I dont believe Wagner has the funding and commitement to football. I think SHU, Wagner, Marist, St. Francis etc. will drop their programs. There is the distant (and I mean distant) possibility that Marist gets assoicate PL membership.

 

Bobby Mo and the Dukes will join the Youngstowns of the world in my opinion.

 

Finally...we cannot forget Buffalo, though in my opinion they will meet the requirements...they are not going to drop to IAA in football.

 

So we are left with the following:

 

AE OLYMPIC SPORT MEMBERS:

NORTH

Maine

Vermont

UNH

BU

Albany

Bing

 

SOUTH

Stony Brook

UMBC

Hofstra

Hartford

CCSU

Monmouth

 

*This is arguably a much stronger basketball conference than it is now.

 

FOOTBALL ONLY SCHOOLS:

 

Villanova

Richmond

UMASS

URI

Towson

 

*FOOTBALL CONFERENCE

NORTH

Albany

Mass

Rhode Island

Maine

UNH

Central Connecticut

 

SOUTH

Stony Brook

Hofstra

Richmond

Towson

Monmouth

Villanova

 

Here you are looking at schools, specifically Hofstra, Maine, Mass, and Nova, that are Top 20 schools. The others are not shabby. This conference, IMHO, can be just as good if not better than the current A-Ten.

 

The all-sports schools would make usa solid olympic sport conference. One sport in particular stands out....LACROSSE. Imagine a conference w/ Bing (great upside w/ Herkimer CC feeding them talent), Hofstra, Albany, SBU, UMBC as your top 5. Plus up and coming Vermont. Hofstra, UA, UMBC and SBU alone is enough. There is also the possiblity of adding UMASS for lax...they are in a league w/ no current AQ. My roommate (UMASS alumn) just stated that it would probably be in the top three lax conferences in the country.

 

One thing to keep an eye out for is Towson and UMASS. I think Hofstra will be leaving and if we can create a football conference they would come back. UMASS...IA aspirations...Towson may associate themselves w/ a southern football conference (along w/ Delaware). Villanova may also hold out for a Patriot invite.

 

All speculation of course.

Edited by Dane96
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Well thought out post Dane96. One thing to keep in mind is the auto bid for the I-AA playoffs. There must be a group of 6 schools that have been together in one conference for at least (?....not sure) years. This brings up a quandry for the remaining A-10 members if the CAA can attract at least 7 current A-10 schools. It may force schools to seek associate membership in the CAA for football therefore changing the conference in name only, and keeping Albany and Stony Brook on the outside looking in.

 

With that being said, I don't think it will happen. I don't think that the New England schools (excluding Northeastern) want a southern based membership controlling their football futures. I see the following football conference:

 

Maine

UNH

UMass

URI

Central Connecticut

Albany

Stony Brook

Villanova

Richmond

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I'm curious MJ, is that the new A10 football lineup you have listed?

Maine

UNH

UMass

URI

Central Connecticut

Albany

Stony Brook

Villanova

Richmond

 

If it is I would be very happy with that configuaration although we'd be getting it handed to us for a few years on the field. I'm really doubtful about an AE football league just because it would require the AE to be proactive-something it hasn't proven it is willing to do. It would also require petition for an auto-bid in the 1-AA playoffs and the mood in the NCAA right now isn't favorable to doing anything to help low-mid major conferences.

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To overcome UMass(hopefully they move to D1), Villavova, and Maine would be very difficult. The rest of the league we would become competitive with pretty fast. UMass, Maine, and Villanova would spank us pretty good over the next 5 years.

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Dane Pound...w/ any configuration we would get an auto bid...the A-Ten's. We would have Richmond, UMASS, URI, MAINE, UNH, and Villanova...the required 6 teams that have been together for X-years. If we start an AE conference...then we would have to wait for the autobid.

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I wasn't sure where the other A10 members go in that scenario. I'm assuming MJ thinks Delaware, NU, William and Mary and James Madison are going to go to the CAA which would leave room for Albany, the Brook, CCSU and maybe another NEC team if they want to go.

 

I guess I'm surprised that 3 perenial top 20 teams would be willing to take 3 upstarts into their conference. Albany would be going from the 13th or 14th best conference in the country to the 2nd or 3rd in a matter of months. Great for us but I don't see what's in it for Maine and the other A10 teams other than they'd be desperate for members.

 

Were we to get a new stadium and A10 football affiliation I'd have to update my UA wish list!

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