Today’s Richmond Times-Dispatch had yet another article to add to the saga of the Colonial Athletic Association and conference realignment. As you know VCU has left the CAA and Georgia State and Old Dominion are set to bolt for the Sun Belt and Conference USA. You also probably know that Coastal Carolina has aspirations to move into either the CAA or the Southern Conference and that Liberty is constantly knocking at the door and waving their wallet at FBS conferences but no one has answered. But what made today’s Times-Dispatch write up a little different? Well, for one, they quoted Big South commissioner Kyle Kallander for the first time:
Big South Conference commissioner Kyle Kallander wouldn’t comment on any members, but said he has had “good dialogue with a number of commissioners that have been involved in the ongoing realignment story, including Tom Yeager. We’ve had good conversations about a number of things.”
“There is still a lot of fluidity and a lot of issues involved in the decision-making process of institutions,” Kallander said. “We’ll see where things are going. I feel pretty good about where the conference is and where we’re going to be moving forward.”
The immediate threat to the Big South is losing Coastal Carolina to the CAA. Beyond Coastal there are many viable candidates from the Big South to the CAA. The indirect threat and more important one to get in front of is if the Southern Conference gets raided to the tune of two to four schools. Davidson, Charleston, Appalachian State, Furman, and Elon have all been whispered about in CAA expansion and if they do go then there could be a direct threat to the Big South Conference. If the Southern is to lose school then they will likely look to raid the Big South and Atlantic Sun to stabilize their membership.
It is important for Commissioner Kallander and the Big South to get in front of this issue and be preemptive in terms of conference membership. Schools like USC Upstate, Kennesaw State, and East Tennessee State should be contacted to attempt to strengthen conference now. Schools looking to move up from the Division II level like North Alabama, West Georgia, and Kentucky State can be explored. Finally the Big South can look to MEAC members like Delaware State, Hampton, or Norfolk State to help strengthen their football product.
One things for sure, Kallander needs to be ready.
Photo via Citizen Times