My recollection of how the two leagues started was that there was a good amount of interest in a Colts Forum league. Some didn't want to play with a lot of guys who weren't dedicated to it. I understand as I've played in a couple of leagues where say a team starts out 0-2 they stop managing their team.
So, they identified 12 guys who had extensive time in FF leagues (at least the talked a good game). But there were enough more who were interested, but with less, or no experience.
The first group was the Elite, the secondary group was the Average Joe's.
To make things interesting, they set up the situation where the bottom two of the Elite dropped down each year, and the top two from Joe's moves up, but it doesn't work out exactly like that each year. There have been years where people drop out of the Elite league altogether, and create room for additional Joe's to move up. There have also been situations like you described where the top one or two Joe's didn't want to leave their 'friends', stayed in Joe's, and the offer to move up went to the next in line.
Moving up isn't a law, it's your privilege to take advantage of it.