The Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) officially announced the schedule for the 2020 spring football season. After months of contemplation over whether the season would occur, the CAA finally made a decision to move forward.
On July 17, the Board of Directors at the CAA announced it would suspend all conference play through the end of the year. However, Villanova said that the situation would be watched carefully, following the guidance of university officials. Unfortunately, no other news came regarding the football season on Tuesday, Oct. 27.
After months of waiting, the 2021 spring football season is planned to start for the Wildcats on March 6.
The format of the CAA season will prove to be far different than in years past. It will consist of six games for each team within two divisions. Three of those games will be away games, while the other three will be at home.
“We are pleased to announce the conference schedule for the 2021 Spring football season, but understand this is just the next step in the planning process associated with playing football on each of our campuses,” CAA Commissioner Joe D’Antonio said in a statement. “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. Today’s announcement hopefully provides an additional level of excitement for the 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 North Division consists of Albany, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Stony Brook and Villanova. The South division includes Elon, James Madison, Richmond and William & Mary.
Each institution is allowed to schedule two non-conference games into their respective schedules if they choose to. However, these two games will not be added into the team’s overall record. The team that has the best record at the end of their six games has an automatic bid to the NCAA championship. The NCAA championship is set to take place on April 24.
Of the two divisions, it’s likely that Villanova will receive the benefit of an easier schedule. The ’Cats open with the Stony Brook Seawolves, who went 5-7 last season and only 2-6 in CAA play.
From there, the team will return home to play the Rhode Island Rams at Villanova Stadium. The Rams finished in last place in the CAA in 2019, going just 2-10 in the season and 0-8 in conference.
The Wildcats will remain home after that matchup, this time to take on the New Hampshire Wildcats. New Hampshire will be a bit more of a difficult test for Villanova, as the team went 6-5 in the regular season and finished with the same conference record as Villanova, at 5-3.
Villanova then heads back on the road to Orono to face the Maine Black Bears. Maine was an average team last season, finishing at 6-6 overall and 4-4 in the CAA. The Wildcats then finish their road schedule with their toughest opponent, the Albany Great Danes. Albany came in second place in the conference last season, finishing at 9-5 overall and 6-2 in CAA play. The Great Danes made the playoffs last season but lost in the first round to Montana State by a score of 47-21.
The Wildcats season concludes at home with the Battle of the Blue in a rivalry matchup against Delaware. The Blue Hens went 5-7 last season and 3-5 in CAA play.