At this point I think Murray State and Valparaiso should both get invites. Both are in good location to be Valley schools and both are usually pretty decent basketball schools. They both also have baseball and baseball by far is the second most important sport that the conference sponsors. With us losing Wichita we'll be down to 7 teams in baseball. (Note that the MVFC is a different conference, but Murray State could also be added to the MVFC for football.)
I'm not really concerned with these two schools other sports. Women's sports, golf, swimming, etc, shouldn't matter. We should be inviting schools based off of men's basketball (and slightly baseball) and that's it. I would be very happy with Murray State and Valpo becoming full members of the Missouri Valley Conference.
My Top Choices as of right now.
#1= Murray State and Valparaiso- Both should get an invite ASAP. As I mentioned above both fit great geographically and both seem fairly committed to having good basketball teams.
#2= North Dakota State and South Dakota State- Only in favor of adding these two if we can't get Murray State and/or Valparaiso. If we can only get one or the other (between Valpo and Murray State) then I'm uncertain as to whether or not we should go ahead and invite the XDSU's. I'm only in favor of adding them if they come together. Adding just NDSU or SDSU would be a bad move imo. Their football is great and their basketball is fairly good. My only concern with these schools is distance.
#3= New Mexico State- Distance is definitely a huge concern for me on NM State and unless we can't get any of the four schools mentioned above we should not invite the Aggies. They seem like a better fit for the Mountain West Conference and quite frankly with them having FBS Football I think they would jump at the MWC first chance they got. Their basketball is pretty good, but I don't see them sticking around especially since they would be so isolated from the rest of the conference.
#4= Others- Besides those 5 schools no one else in my opinion is worth inviting. St Louis would be a good add, but like many others have mentioned I seriously doubt they would leave the Atlantic 10. Belmont supposedly said no again, so that is why they aren't included on my list. Extension campuses (Omaha, UMKC, UALR, SIUE, UIC, UTA, UW-Mil, UW-GB, etc) should not be considered. Grand Canyon is just way too far out, even NM State is a stretch. Really if we can't get any of the top 4 schools or 5 schools I mentioned (add in St Louis and Belmont) I'd much rather just stay at 9 teams for a while. I don't think we should settle this time around. When we added Loyola it felt like we settled (no offense to Loyola). I would much rather wait until the conference improves so that we'll actually be a more attractive conference for future expansion. Who knows in a few years we could be more attractive than the A10 and then we get St Louis. Adding UMKC or Omaha just makes our conference worse and less attractive to legit teams. Just remember that almost every school in our conference has the potential to be really good again. I think almost everyone in our conference at some point has made noise in the NCAA tournament. Wichita and Creighton were good, but they weren't the whole conference. I think that is important to remember.