NYU fell off this year, but finished top-25 last season (their first in D1). Toledo was middle of the road for D2; not sure why they moved to D1. Calvin came up from D3; they were a top team there, but it’s a big jump (ask Alabama and Arkansas). William Paterson is pretty much the only top D2 team from that list who moved up and didn’t find some success in D1.
But if we go back 5 years or so we see some other top D2 teams like Missouri State and the Colorado schools who’ve made the jump to D1 and have found success… and also some real head-scratchers like Temple (who will finish 59th out of 60 this season in D1), and Wayne State (a mess of a program from D3 that folded midway through their D1 season).
So I don’t think the problem is that top D2 teams can’t be successful in D1; it’s that the teams moving to D1 aren’t always the top D2 teams. The FGCUs, GVUs, Lindenwood Bellevilles, etc. would do just fine if (or, in the case of Lindenwood Belleville, when) they jumped to D1.
But more than that, let’s not pretend that being unsuccessful in D1 means teams won’t fit in with D1; there are two or three conferences full of teams that probably should be in D2 (or D3) who are pleased as punch to compete in their conference and call it a season. And apparently D1 is pleased as punch to collect their dues and toss them a few autobids in return that only occasionally run afoul of league rules (not that they’ll actually be enforced ever).