It is becoming increasing clear that change in the FCS is almost a certainty, not just talk, and the beneficiary of it all stands to be the Missouri Valley Football Conference and to an extent, the Big Sky Conference. With Georgia Southern and possibly Appalachian State bolting for FBS and leaving the Southern Conference, and with the CAA on the verge of losing a few schools to FBS, the Missouri Valley is just hanging out without much hint of change.
It’s addition by subtraction, at least in the short term until other schools fill the power void left by the vacancies of GSU, Massachusetts, Old Dominion (although relatively new, still a good program) and whoever else leaves.
The CAA will find some replacements for UMass simply because there are a lot of good programs. But what if change sweeps the league and not only UMass and Old Dominion head to FBS but Villanova (which is a strong possibility to the Big East), James Madison and Delaware follow suit? Currently, that would leave the CAA with just five teams: Towson, Maine, William & Mary, Rhode Island and Richmond. Say goodbye to the SEC of the FCS motto. What a striking change that would be when the league just a few years ago had 12 teams and two divisions. But Northeastern (and Rocky Hager) and Hofstra dropping football started the descent.
Meanwhile, about the only slight piece of evidence of change within the Missouri Valley are rumors of Youngstown thinking of the CAA (maybe not now) and the Illinois State president saying he someday wants the school to go FBS.