Check out the distance from Plattsburgh to Buffalo.....7-9 hours depending on the weather.Well, since you finally had some serious comments, some return comments.
- Timing - It is really the conference's decision what their league timing is. If the NESCAC is OK with taking the disadvantage of starting late (like the Ivies), then that is their prerogative. It would be hard to argue that it puts them at a disadvantage early in the season when playing out of conference, but they seem to do OK by and large and they are satisfied with it. They do this to allow the Fall regular season to end prior to start of winter season (there is a fair number of multi-sport athletes at most of these schools). Otherwise, Fall team kids will be trying to practice/play two sports simultaneously - used to happen.
- Out of Conference - I don't know of any NESCAC schools with rules that they can't stay overnight for non-conference games. Some of them have traveled out West in the last few years (Williams, Conn, Bowdoin) and pretty much all have played back to back away OOC games which requires an overnight. That being said, every school/team has a budget so they do have to manage that - it is D3 after all. I don't see Plattsburgh traveling very far for games - are you ****ed at them? Even if the restriction was true, it wouldn't be much of an impediment to playing good teams - most NESCAC schools can get anywhere in New England or upstate NY on 1 day trip for a game. The reality is that the real limit on these games is the small number of OOC games most teams can schedule. Everyone wants to play Plattsburgh or Elmira, but they are selective because of the small number of games they can schedule OOC.