Just a few weeks after the Colonial Athletics Association (CAA) announced the plans for a six-game spring schedule a Tuesday morning press release answered all the questions that were left unanswered in the initial announcement. The conference released the schedules for 11 schools which are set to kick off on Saturday, March 6; Towson being the only school not participating in the season.
The conference will be split into a seven-team Northern Division and a four-team Southern Division. Among those in the North are New Hampshire, UAlbany, Delaware, Maine, Rhode Island, Stony Brook and Villanova. The South will consist of James Madison, Elon, William & Mary and Richmond.
The North Division will face each school once with three home and three away games, while the South Division will meet each school twice with both teams getting a home game in the season series.
UNH will begin their season welcoming UAlbany and will play host to Delaware and Stony Brook throughout the spring. The Wildcats will make the trip to Villanova, Rhode Island and Maine.
In the Tuesday morning press release CAA Commissioner Joe D’Antonio emphasized the conference’s desire to keep all coaches and players safe while moving forward with this model.
“Our unique divisional format was developed with the goal of enhancing safety and reducing the risks associated with travel during this difficult period of time, while still providing a fair and competitive model to determine a champion,” explained D’Antonio. “Today’s announcement hopefully provides an additional level of excitement for student-athletes and coaches who have worked hard and made numerous sacrifices over the past eight months. As always, health and safety remain at the forefront of all return-to-play decisions that we as a conference continue to make.”
The season is set to begin on March 6 and conclude on April 17. The slate features a bye week for each team within that seven-week stretch. The built-in bye week also allows for a bit of flexibility if a school runs into any COVID-19 related issues.
Beginning on Jan. 23 schools will also be able to schedule “non-conference” game which won’t count towards a team’s final record. These games are only allowed to be scheduled with fellow conference members, however.
16 teams will be included in the NCAA Football Championship with a champion being crowned in Frisco, Texas in mid-May.