The JMU hate is on principle. They aren't just an in-state like-size school. The cultural divide is insane. Anyone on campus in 2009 remembers this game and they remember the riots at JMU that spring. On top of that, their arrogant and condescending attitudes lend credence to the Just Missed UVa backronym. My vitriol for them is only matched by that boiling for the sandbirds of Conway.
https://www.espn.com/college-football/p ... =292692335
That said, fervor and animosity are wonderful things in football. We have a week dedicated to rivals every year. And for that reason, assuming they could facilitate it, playing both Coastal and JMU in the FBS would be a good thing for fan engagement. We worried last year that the players and staff wouldn't grasp the weight of our rivalry with Coastal. Frequency will help the rivalry, not hurt it.
If we goto the American, I want Coastal with us. If JMU makes the jump, the American makes the most sense too. ECU gains a regional team in Coastal and pairing LU and JMU up is golden. The final team the AAC should add is UTSA.
The American could then easily divide into divisions. The East: Tulsa, SMU, UTSA, Tulane, Memphis, USF, ; and the West: Temple, Navy, JMU, LU, CCU, and ECU. That's my idea. If they go to 14 teams, add evenly to those divisions, Army and North Texas to the East and West look good to me.