3. Appalachian State: The Mountaineers are a dark horse, but Appalachian State has become a mid-major force. The Mountaineers joined the Sun Belt Conference for 2014 and has recorded 7-5, 11-2, 10-3, 9-4 and 11-2 records since then. The Mountaineers averaged 25,787 fans last season, which is dismal by Power 5 standards are not bad by American Conference standards.
4. Buffalo: The Mid-American Conference has never been a breeding ground for schools to move on. Could the Bulls be the first? It's a new market. And Buffalo has shown both basketball and basketball levels.
5. Best of Conference USA: The natural order of conference realignment is to pick off teams from just below, and C-USA would be the obvious pool. But which school is the Conference USA lead dog? Middle Tennessee? Marshall? Western Kentucky? Florida International? Some have suggested Alabama-Birmingham, but the Blazers dropped their program after the 2014 season and resumed play in 2017.
6. Connecticut: The American does not want to hear this, but keeping UConn could make the most sense. UConn needs a football home, the American has a slot football. If the American went to an 11-team basketball format, it would not be the end of the world. The American is not in any mood to offer UConn an olive branch. But what if the American kept UConn football on a trial basis? Even give the huskies some requirements to meet. Maybe motivate Connecticut to do more for football.