It’s simple: the CAA should add one program this summer–a basketball program–and nobody else. It makes perfect sense, if you think about it.
We all know Davidson and College of Charleston are the two show ponies. If we get both to join, there remains a math problem of 11 teams. An odd number of teams is less than ideal from a scheduling standpoint. Every scheduling cycle leaves one team with a “bye,” and that really stinks on Saturdays.
So who would that third team be that would get us back to 12 teams?
Before we travel that road, again, I have a different question.
Why are we stuck on 12 teams? Who determined that to be the magic number to get whole? I’ve got to believe it’s a comfortable number that we’ve settled into since Georgia State and Northeastern joined the league. It’s where we were during the time of incredible growth so your bias immediately starts there. But it’s just a number, and the bottom teams in the CAA certainly contributed little to the CAA explosion.
The more I’ve thought about it the more I’ve come around to 10 teams being an ideal number.
As noted by Brian Mull the other day, a 10-team league creates the perfect scheduling scenario–a home-and-home with each CAA foe to get to 18 league games. No more whining about unbalanced schedules and politicking for preferred partners and the like.
Here’s the real rub. Everyone seems to be categorically bored by most of the nominees tossed out for Team Number Three. So don’t bring them in. I mean–and I mean this respectfully–who else is beating down the door of Elon or Stony Brook? Answer: nobody.
No sense in rushing into something you don’t need in order to hit some artificial benchmark. All of these schools will still be there next year or the year after. And who knows what school will be available in two years.
Here’s what I’m saying: lock down Charleston–they fit better than Davidson, have shown more mutual interest, have that positive trajectory we like, and hail from a much better road trip city. Mull pointed out the geographical advantages. CoC is a great add.
We stabilize at 10, and let college athletics unfold. If the last 90 days has taught us anything, things can happen fast and we don’t ever really know what’s going on–mainly because nobody really knows what’s going on. The CAA may not be in a position of strength, but it’s certainly not in a position of desperation. That has been the biggest misconception in all this.
Take the summer and fall to figure out what to do with football. We have the time. The pigskinners need one more team but again there’s no rush. Maybe someone joins football-only. Or maybe someone else is planning on jettisoning CAA football, leaving two football spots open. Then you get to add two for football and a corresponding two for hoops.
Getting us back to 12 teams.