And we haven't even mentioned the pachyderm in the room: money.
ODU's expenses for travel, scholarships (the Bowl Subdivision permits 85 football grants, 22 more than the Championship Subdivision), salaries, recruiting and infrastructure would skyrocket, and Conference USA's television revenue wouldn't dent the increase. Say goodbye to last season's $151 football season ticket. Say hello to $20 hot dogs and pay commodes, not only at Foreman Field but also the Constant Center for basketball.
But perhaps that is ODU's only play. Perhaps George Mason and VCU bolting for the A-10 is inevitable, the CAA is dead league walking and Conference USA represents the Monarchs' most palatable alternative.
There is also the possibility of the NCAA placing a moratorium, for as long as 10 years, on schools upgrading to the Bowl Subdivision. The Monarchs may not want to risk a decade in a CAA where mistrust among schools is at a new high.
What will/should ODU do? My old-school sensibilities say earn more football bona fides in the CAA and talk sense into VCU and George Mason.
The Monarchs have been playing football for three years, for goodness sake. What's the hurry to upgrade? This isn't Major League Baseball, and ODU isn't Bryce Harper.
But I'm not privy to the school's financial projections or back-channel discussions, if any, with VCU and George Mason. My hunch: Conference USA.
This much is certain: As in recent shifts in the ACC, Big East, Big 12 and other conferences, darn near everyone here is acting out of fear and suspicion, with a dash of greed and pinch of ambition tossed in for spice.
A combustible mix, to be sure.
David Teel can be reached at 757-247-4636 or by email at email@example.com. For more from Teel, read his blog at dailypress.com/sports/teeltime and follow him at twitter.com/DavidTeelatDP