I see us in a rolling boil right now...this thing is not over. Look, the CAA is a nightmare with its size and cost for ROI, even with the regional travel schedules. There are no real rivalries and you need you top sports to put butts in the seats to pay bills. The lack of attendance is a problem that most NCAA D1 schools are struggling with and the CAA is really a hodgepodge right now. There is zero doubt in my mind that the league will disintegrate at some point. They are no longer the Top 13 or so ranked league, year in and out. They are much closer to the AE in the money driven sport of basketball.
Spending 20-50 million dollars without getting some income in will just not last, it will start to get questioned as the P4 starts to really form.
In my personal opinion, the A-10, MAAC, MEAC, AE, NEC, CAA, PL, Big South, and the Southern conferences need a reset....some more than others. The fact is, football creates problems as do outlier schools location wise (Maine, W&M, the Western PA schools, arguably Binghamton, Albany, and Stony Brook.
Personally, I wish somehow we can get the AE four back and just collapse the CAA...but I think there is a vast difference between Delaware and Bryant, even SBU, Bing, and Bryant. I like Bryant Simply put, there are not great answers without dramatic changes and loss of some rivalries. I have put thought into this and am willing to answer any direct questions, knowing my post is far from perfect. Currently, I see the MAAC and the Southern as the most stable conferences, followed closely by the AE, PL, and A-10. But each of those three have issues, mainly in the AE the football schools, the PL the lack of football schools...G-Town can drop at any time, and the A-10 needing to cull some fat and add some new blood, with the real possibility that UMASS leaves.
Here are new leagues I would use as a baseline to play with, knowing some leagues are at levels where they would like to expand (e.g. the new CAA though I think that group has WAY more in common than people think. And I did not consider (other than the PL) academics very highly, more as a secondary or even tertiary point because quite frankly, this is about ROI and income...not about aligning with the IVY. I also did not consider the best scenario, where the NCAA gets rid of the Dayton Rule and encourages schools to play its sports in multiple conferences, depending on the sport:
UMASS- unknown but will move if they want to keep football. They will end up in some form of CUSA, AAC, or MAC.
A-10 (12 All-Sport but for the football schools who play elsewhere)
CAA (8 All Sport / 11 Team football with 3 Football Only)
Stony Brook (F)
URI (Football Only)
Nova (Football Only)
Richmond (Football Only)
America East (8 All Sport)
**A KEY EDIT WOULD BE A CAA SIZED LEAGUE THAT IS REALLY COMPACT GEOGRAPHICALLY (but for MAINE) combining the AE and the CAA above, adding Bryant for football to bring it to 12, with the Big South having lost Bryant to go down to 6 football members.
NEC (11 Teams (9 All sport) and 10 Football (one football only) (SF-Bklyn leaves D1)
Morgan St (F)
Duquesne (Football Only)
MAAC (12 All Sport)
PL (13 Teams (7 All sport) and 8 Football (one football only)
Holy Cross (F)
Georgetown (Football Only)
MEAC (league disbands. Coppin and UMES drop out of D1)
Big South (12 Teams with 5 All sport) and 7 Football (two football only)
Norfolk State (F)
Bryant (Football only)
RMU (Football only)
Southern (15 Teams with 13 All sport) and 13 Football
NC A&T (F)