Went to realtimerpi.com for the first time in a few weeks today and couldn't believe that 12 of the league's 16 teams are in the top 96. http://realtimerpi.com/rpi_atl10_Men.html.
Going into the league schedule, this is pretty great news if you root for the A-10 and not just GW. The league RPI sits 5th now, moving ahead of the Mountain West in recent days. With the ACC a very slight amount ahead of the A-10, and that league having only half of their teams in the top 100, it is not inconceivable that the league could finish 4th.
The implications for this year are pretty clear, but as the A-10 office tries to fend off the C7 poaching of the top of our league, these statistics cannot be lost in the shuffle.
The question I have asked myself about the realignment issues is "What happens if Xavier, Butler, et. al., just say No."? Xavier seems to be the lynchpin in this whole thing, and if Xavier declines simply to test the water, to say "we're happy where are and you should consider an alignment with us instead," what effect that will have. My view is that Xavier is the proverbial prettiest girl in the room, and if they say 'no,' the C7 isn't simply going to pass them by. They're still going to be just as pretty and just as desireable, no matter how often or long they say 'no.' They've got nothing to lose.
Xavier is the team with all the leverage. As they go, so will Butler, Dayton, St. Louis and from some rumors...Duquesne. If I'm the A-10, I'm talking to ESPN/CBS/NBC and coming up with estimated dollars for a package that includes the current A-10 plus the C7, to bring to the table when Xavier gets serious with the C7.
I understand the dynamics of GT wanting to be elite and not allowing GW to be seen on their level (ditto for St. John's with Fordham, Villanova with St. Joe's/LaSalle), but I'm holding out hope that Xavier has the backbone to say we've got a great thing here, and with you it will be better for you across all sports.
I also understand that this is about men's basketball. The C7 has no objection to competing in other sports against A-10 teams...they're already doing it.
I'm not optimistic, but I've just got to believe that Xavier sees that they are holding all the cards and not the C7.