Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Ah, what a lovely neighborhood.
Plenty of successful and influential people. Money, outstanding facilities. Even
So why does everyone in the neighborhood keep looking at each other with awkward
It's hard to believe we're talking about CAA Football, once dubbed the SEC of th
But some have left the neighborhood. Some are just passing through. Others are s
And as the college football landscape continually changes, no FCS conference has
It still seem astounding:
* Hofstra and Northeastern dropped football after the 2009 season.
* Massachusetts left for the Mid-American Conference this year.
* Rhode Island is expected to drop to the Northeast Conference next year.
* Old Dominion, a second-year member, is headed to Conference USA next year.
* Georgia State, a first-year member, will be in the Sun Belt Conference.
It's a great conference more resembling a concussed quarterback than one throwin
But now, after the many blows in recent years, there might be some resolution in
"I think sometime before September there will be announcements made and we'll ki
Keeler said at the CAA's football media day on Wednesday at M&T Bank Stadium, ho
"Delaware wants to be one of the stabilizing forces in this conference. From wha
the season, I think we'll all feel pretty good where this conference is going."
As a few alums of CAA Football who are part of the Ravens' roster can attest, in
action in this eastern seaboard conference, which now has a southern base after
New Hampshire will be the final two of the original six members after Rhode Isla
Or if URI departs. There's still hope around the conference that URI could rever
mean some other NEC members, such as Albany or Bryant, could join the conference
Other southern schools like Davidson, maybe even Appalachian State (but probably
CAA commissioner Tom Yeager, wanting to have some decisions sooner rather than l
above to ensure eight conference games
"It is kind of interesting that we've had everything," he said. "We'd had people
and move up. As far as the guys moving up, time will tell whether it was a good
"I'm a big fan of the 12 (teams), six and six (in north and south divisions)," s
Football. "I think that's an easier sell to the presidents because of the geogra
could plug in at you right now. I'll probably get in trouble for saying it."
James Madison coach Mickey Matthews calls the many CAA changes "a part of modern
It's still possible the worst is not over, too. Villanova remains on the Big Eas
program on hold for well over a year and hasn't made their candidacy a priority.
"We feel like it's important for us to concentrate on being a CAA team," Villano
ourselves to be in a position if they came back to us."
Similar to Rhode Island's impending move, New Hampshire's strong program has bee
would Maine still hold strong to remaining in the CAA, when charter flights are
That's all an unknown, of course.
There's no worry with others, though. Towson, Delaware, James Madison, Richmond
"I just think I-AA (FCS) is very fluid," Rhode Island coach Joe Trainer said. "I
day) with (UMass') Kevin Morris and (Hofstra's) Dave Cohen and (Northeastern's)
that time things would have changed that dramatically?"
One program not seeking much change from last season is Towson, the defending CA
preseason poll, ahead of Old Dominion. It's a big difference from last season, w
"There's not a whole lot of stock to be put in to how you start. You can have th
coach Rob Ambrose, whose team features sophomore running back Terrance West, sen
All-CAA preseason team.
"We went from being picked second-to-last to second-from-first," ODU coach Bobby
because of its impending departure, is represented on the preseason team by soph
defensive tackle Chris Burnette, senior linebacker Craig Wilkins and senior punt
CAA FOOTBALL PRESEASON POLL
(Head Coaches and Sports Information Directors)
1. Towson, 12 first-place votes
2. Old Dominion, 7
3. James Madison, 1
4. New Hampshire, 2
7. William & Mary
10. Rhode Island
11. Georgia State
PRESEASON ALL-CAA FOOTBALL TEAM
Offensive Player of the Year - Terrance West, RB, Towson
Defensive Player of the Year - Matt Evans, LB, New Hampshire
QB - Taylor Heinicke, Old Dominion, So.
RB - Andrew Pierce, Delaware, Jr.
RB - Terrance West, Towson, So.
FB - Brian Barlow, James Madison, Sr.
WR - Nick Mayers, Old Dominion, Sr.
WR - Maurice McDonald, Maine, Sr.
WR - Nihja White, Delaware, Sr.
TE - Justin Perillo, Maine, Jr.
OL - Ricky Archer, New Hampshire, Jr.
OL - Chris Howley, Maine, Sr.
OL - Dan Shirey, Villanova, Sr.
OL - Josh Spearin, Maine, Sr.
OL - Earl Watford, James Madison, Sr.
DL - Frank Beltre, Towson, Sr.
DL - Chris Burnette, Old Dominion, Sr.
DL - Michael Cole, Maine, Jr.
DL - Antoine Lewis, Villanova, Jr.
LB - Matt Evans, New Hampshire, Sr.
LB - Darius McMillan, Richmond, Sr.
LB - Stephon Robertson, James Madison, Jr.
LB - Craig Wilkins, Old Dominion, Sr.
LB - Paul Worrilow, Delaware, Sr.
S - Jordan Dangerfield, Towson, Sr.
S - Brian Thompson, William & Mary, Sr.
CB - Travis Hawkins, Delaware, Jr.
CB - B.W. Webb, William & Mary, Sr.
PK - Sean Baner, Delaware, Jr.
P - Jonathan Plisco, Old Dominion, Sr.
RS - Dae'Quan Scott, James Madison, Jr.
The Sports Network