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Old 12-03-2012, 06:15 PM   #1336 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

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I have a bad feeling the MAAC is going from 9 teams to 12. My gut right now says they add QU, MU, and Wagner.

So it seems like a no-brainer that the AE would add at least 2 schools to get to 10. CCSU and Bryant are the best fit available.

Question for the board: So does the AE consider going to 12 team, seeing all the changes going on. Is it worth it? If so, who would be the next 2 school on the list?
What about someone returning from the CAA? That conference is moving further South, is now ranked lower than AE, and a couple of those schools have been rumored to be in contact with the league about returning over the last couple of years.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:18 PM   #1337 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

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Could there be some type of merger between the remaining NEC schools and the Aeast or am I just thinking crazy? Would love to add Bryant and CCSU. Not sure who else is on the Aeast radar.
No.....AE would have no interest in the remaining NEC schools beyond Bryant and Central Connecticut.

The only other possibility that I had thought of was UMass-Lowell moving to D-1.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:51 PM   #1338 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

I think the new addition will be Bryant and I bet we hear about it pretty soon. I would love to see Northeastern return.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:50 PM   #1339 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

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No.....AE would have no interest in the remaining NEC schools beyond Bryant and Central Connecticut.

The only other possibility that I had thought of was UMass-Lowell moving to D-1.
You are on to something here. Here is what I see happening.

I have a source that says Merrimack is looking to go D1. I can see UMass-Lowell and Merrimack going D1 to either the AE or the NEC. Most likely they could join the NEC and replace 2 of the NEC losses, or they could go to the AE to give the AE 10 members.

They would probably fit in better in the NEC, especially with Bryant there which would give the NEC a mini Northeast-10 Conference with 3 former members of that D2 Conference. If Wagner leaves, I see NJIT going NEC too.

That would create these possibilities:

America East - Stays the same
NEC - Adds NJIT, Merrimack, UMass Lowell
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:10 PM   #1340 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

Merrimack still has football; if they keep it that makes them more attractive to the NEC, but also makes the transition more expensive.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:14 PM   #1341 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

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Merrimack still has football; if they keep it that makes them more attractive to the NEC, but also makes the transition more expensive.
OR they could move to the AE and put football in NEC only to help NEC football stay alive after 2 teams defect (Monmouth, Wagner)
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:06 PM   #1342 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

@Blakely: I would hate SBU being grouped with second tier state Universities... Yuck. UMass-Lowell? Whats? I mean, I would be ok with UMass, Amherst but not Lowell... and What is Merrimack.. Even worst. At that point I would just advocate for Albany and SBU jumping to the CAA...

The only good thing I could say about the AE is that its composed of the top state universities of each respective member state (Except UMBC)... I wouldn't want to lose that
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:43 PM   #1343 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

Isbal probably is closest to being right.......Bryant might be close to 99% right now. Northeastern is intriguing........they are becoming more and more isolated on the CAA Southern Express..........
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:56 AM   #1344 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

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@Blakely: I would hate SBU being grouped with second tier state Universities... Yuck. UMass-Lowell? Whats? I mean, I would be ok with UMass, Amherst but not Lowell... and What is Merrimack.. Even worst. At that point I would just advocate for Albany and SBU jumping to the CAA...

The only good thing I could say about the AE is that its composed of the top state universities of each respective member state (Except UMBC)... I wouldn't want to lose that
Lowell is a pretty good engineering school.

Merrimack is a Catholic school.

Both are in Hockey East, so I would support their membership.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:25 AM   #1345 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

Bryant and CCSU would be nice additions.

Would obviously prefer NU to return- but how realistic is that? Especially with BU now going Patriot.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:27 AM   #1346 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

ecasadoSBU et al.,
Lowell is the most AE-like potential D-II upgrade available. They are, in fact, the only potential add that doesn't end the league's "National Research University" exclusivity. Facilities are excellent (Tsongas & Lamade), location is perfect (accessible, within footprint, returns league to Massachusetts), and near exclusivity in a strong market (there is no D-I school currently in the Merrimack Valley, a 2-state region of over a million people). If you get Lowell, you should do a backflip and demand a league tournament at Tsongas. Heck, the A-10 just had their women's tourney there despite (1) Lowell not being in the league and (2) Lowell being over an hour northeast of the extreme northeast of that league's already humungous footprint.

Of course, I don't believe they are currently interested in D-I. Not publicly anyways. It would be a tough sell to the state to fund a second D-I program right now, I suspect.

And to those with "sources" on Merrimack... knock it off. Merrimack is public about their D-I intentions. The only thing they hedge on at all is the timeline, which means "we're still waiting for a conference invite", now a requirement for moving up. I have a source too, I listen to "Merrimack Warrior Hockey" podcasts where various sports coaches and school administrators right up to President talk openly about D-I during every hockey intermission. Shhhhh... keep quiet about my "source".
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:34 AM   #1347 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

RE: UMass-Lowell & Merrimack joining AE

If they went D1 I'd want to see a minimum of 4-5 years at the D1 Level before an invite was extended, showing upward momentum. Until then, F that. League doesn't need to add anyone it will need to carry for any amount of time.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:01 AM   #1348 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

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RE: UMass-Lowell & Merrimack joining AE

If they went D1 I'd want to see a minimum of 4-5 years at the D1 Level before an invite was extended, showing upward momentum. Until then, F that. League doesn't need to add anyone it will need to carry for any amount of time.
(1) Teams can no longer move up without invites.
(2) The only conference whose current geography they fall within is AEC.
(3) AEC is in danger. If you don't think undermining some of AEC's options was part of MAAC's expansion strategy, you are delusional.
(4) They have already shown themselves to be competitive in a D-I league with higher expenses, a higher competitive level, and higher profile than any single AEC sport.
(5) While Lowell would need convincing, political support, and probably some fresh donors... if these things were lined up, they would be invited tomorrow. Your school would issue one of the fastest votes.
(6) I more fully understand trepidation about Merrimack because they aren't an AEC-like institution. Unlike Lowell, I could understand someone wanting to poach a more "experienced" non-AEC-like NEC institution over Merrimack. But don't underestimate the value of their existing relationship with the NNE Flagships and the value of being in the same market I touted for Lowell (albeit Lowell holds a better location within that market). Plus, the simple fact that the league knows they're ready and would accept the invite is going to keep them on the radar. It shouldn't be that simple, but the AEC isn't dealing from a position of strength, and the MAAC news only highlights this.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:51 AM   #1349 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

The AE is at 8 schools for the 2013-14 season. They need 2 schools to start play next year - D-II startups don't really help. CCSU and Bryant are the best available schools in the footprint to get the league to 10 members.

Sure, the AE can wait around and see if NU and Hfstra shake free from the CAA (but with the CAA exit fee, that seems very, very unlikely). The bigger risk to the AE is if Stony Brook and Albany are invited to join to geive them a stronger Northerastern presence. Then everyone is screwed.

IMO - by not adding CCSU and Bryant for next year, the league is in a very danegerous position. Get to 10 teams, then shop around for others. Going forward at 8 with the risk of losing the AQ in sports like baseball and MLax is a risky strategy.

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Old 12-04-2012, 06:59 AM   #1350 (permalink)
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Re: Conference Expansion: Explosion Coming?

I don't see why the AE couldn't add CCSU, Bryant, UML AND Merrimack.
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