- National laboratory cancels ‘Southern Accent Reduction’ classes after outcry
- U.S. woman with Ebola is stable, improving, son says
- Belgium pushes for clear labeling of goods from Israeli settlements
- ‘Queen of Mean’ Leona Helmsley’s former home hits market for $65M
- Florida beach-goers told to beware flesh-eating bacteria in water
- Lundergan Grimes uses ‘war on women’ strategy to attack McConnell
- Rep. Jeff Miller: ‘Ain’t no leash for VA’
- Al Qaeda nets $125M from ransom payoffs from Europe since 2008
- Ohio Gov. John Kasich cruising to re-election: survey
- Landslide hits Indian village; 150 may be trapped
In CAA, landscape continues to shift
Question of the Day
BALTIMORE — Representatives from 11 schools congregated at M&T Bank Stadium on Wednesday for the CAA’s football media day.
There’s no telling just yet how many programs will be represented at the same event next year.
Like many leagues, the CAA is in a time of change. Massachusetts, a member last season, moved up to the bowl subdivision (the former Division I-A). Georgia State and Old Dominion will make the same leap after brief stints as CAA football teams. Rhode Island is moving to the Northeast Conference.
It’s created an extra nuance in the realignment juggling act facing commissioner Tom Yeager, who insisted there is no specific timeline for adding schools to his conference after the defections of Georgia State (to the Sun Belt in 2013), Old Dominion (to Conference USA at the same time) and Virginia Commonwealth (a non-football school that bolted this year).
“CAA football is almost a league inside the league because there’s so many schools that don’t play football,” James Madison coach Mickey Matthews said.
But there are priorities for the football schools, namely to ensure there can still be at least eight conference games going forward. That requires nine teams.
Given the impending exits, only eight teams are part of the CAA’s football league next season at the moment. Maintaining just that group would create nonconference scheduling headaches.
“Five years ago, it would have been a walk in the park,” Towson coach Rob Ambrose said. “Everybody in the country wanted to play us. Now I have people begging out of contracts. I have I-A teams that don’t want to play us. It would be extremely difficult to get that extra game. We would either have to do something crazy like we’re doing this year and play a second I-A team or we’d probably have to travel to like South Dakota.”
If nine is the minimum number of teams needed — a generally agreed consensus at this point — the next question is what an ideal total is.
“I don’t think insofar as determining teams in the league, that we should be caught up in a set number or even a set geography,” William & Mary coach Jimmye Laycock said. “I think we should have the types of schools and types of football programs that are compatible with the ones that are in the league, however that works out.”
There is a push to get back to 12 schools, especially from the remaining northern fringes of the league. Maine took charter flights for five of its six regular-season road games at a cost of $80,000 for each trip.
Coach Jack Cosgrove said the Black Bears have embraced the investment but would welcome the return of a regional divisional setup.
“I’m a big fan of the 12, the six-and-six [per division],” Cosgrove said. “That’s an easier sell to the presidents because the geographic alignments. You see Northeastern and Hofstra [leave], I could throw a couple names of teams we could plug right into that. I’ll probably get in trouble for saying that, but plug them in there and go back to six-and-six.”
At the same time, there is wariness of adding schools that could again seek a new league in a few years.
“What you don’t like is to have teams come into the league and then use it as a steppingstone or move on,” Laycock said. “Maybe Georgia State and ODU, that wasn’t what they were thinking. Maybe it was. I don’t know. But I think we have to be sure we’re not just a holding ground for a year for people to move on.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at email@example.com.
- Maryland's Pe'Shon Howard willing to let others put ball in the basket
- George Mason's defense dissipates in 84-74 loss to Northeastern
- At 7-5, George Mason looks on the bright side entering CAA play
- Terps beat IUPUI, set for ACC after final tuneup
- Maryland's Jake Layman shows signs of progress in freshman season
Latest Blog Entries
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Obama mum on where illegal immigrant children are sheltered
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell's wife had 'crush' on CEO
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of politicizing business
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world