Late Friday night, Newsday reported that Stony Brook was headed to the Colonial Athletic Association in 2013.
But before everyone got too wound up in figuring that one out, there was a catch. The move was only for football.
According to Newsday sources, Stony Brook and Albany will join the conference for football only in 2013. The move leaves the America East conference intact for all other sports, and saving it from what appears to be the fate of the WAC in the coming years.
Without Stony Brook and Albany for all sports, the America East would have been down to just six members in 2013, as Boston University has already bought its ticket to the Patriot League. The choices from which the league could draw to continue to exist would be few and far between.
Plus if those three were going, you know that some other schools (namely Maine and New Hampshire) would be looking elsewhere.
We took to Twitter to chat this out with the best minds in Colonial and America East sports out there, because it seemed a less than emphatic move by the Colonial to just add these teams for football. The league was looking to make a statement with the departure of VCU, Old Dominion and Georgia State, and instead took a baby step toward strengthening the conference.
The consensus, and by consensus I mean more than half of us chatting, seemed to be that this was a power play by Maine and New Hampshire to get more teams that were in their part of the country, before the conference looked any further south for expansion.
Remember that the previous names that had been in play had mostly come from the Southern Conference, such as Elon and Furman, plus Davidson -- a Southern Conference basketball member -- from the Pioneer football conference.
So this looks like a move to save football in the Colonial, rather than forsaking the issues that come with football in your league.
This still leaves the whole expansion question open for basketball though, and it would seem that the conference has a decidedly Southern view there.
My speculation was that the current membership in the Colonial that bolted from the America East wouldn't want to add any of the America East teams that replaced them. After all, they were looking for a bigger challenge on the hard court. Defiantly Dutch, a Hofstra guru, thought that Albany might be a little more welcome, but that I am probably not far off from the truth:
And this news all came on the heels of College of Charleston announcing that they were considering a move to the Colonial (one that in its case doesn't involve football).
There are a few more shoes to drop in this whole deal, but all the signs right now point toward a Southern slant for any future basketball-focused changes.