By Marcus Henry
We’ve beaten this dead horse several times. But based on recent published reports, a Stony Brook move to the CAA could happen sooner than many expected.
Why? CBSsports.com reported that VCU, George Mason and Butler are in discussions to join the Atlantic-10. Neither VCU nor George Mason plays football, but it would still leave the conference short two basketball teams.
With Georgia State set to begin CAA play in football this fall, the conference will have 11 teams for next season. That number will be trimmed to 10 once Rhode Island football leaves for the Northeast Conference in 2013.
Having 10 teams still works, but there is still a chance that Villanova could join the FBS ranks and jump to the Big East for football. With that being a possibility, the CAA could get preemptive.
This is where Stony Brook comes in. After a banner football season that included the Seawolves make the FCS playoffs and winning a game, they could be a great fit in the CAA. Stony Brook basketball has improved by leaps and bounds since Steve Pikiell took over.
There are some things Stony Brook must consider before such a move, however. Hofstra is at a disadvantage in basketball, because so many of the CAA’s programs are located in the south. Georgia State, James Madison, Old Dominion, Towson, UNC Wilmington, VCU, George Mason and William & Mary all play south of Delaware.
There are a few close rivalries with Delaware, Drexel and Northeastern, but that is it. Most of Hofstra’s road games require a lot of travel. And the CAA men’s basketball tournament is played in Richmond every year. Not exactly a home court advantage for the Pride. The same would hold true for Stony Brook if it were to join.
Word out of Stony Brook is that the school would push for a two-division CAA football league to defray travel costs. That makes perfect sense for the Seawolves. But would the CAA go for it?
It's unclear if Stony Brook would push for the same split-division format for basketball. The CAA would be down to 10 teams in basketball if VCU and George Mason were to bolt. The league could get away with 10 teams, but would more than likely want 12 teams, meaning Stony Brook could get a call at some point.