CAA Football Non-Conference Analysis

Albany: @ Pittsburgh (FBS), vs. Morgan State, vs. St. Francis.
The FBS road game will have them well prepared for their two home games. They miss the CAA’s top two contenders, so a good start could propel them a long ways.
Delaware: vs. Lafayette, vs. Cornell, @ North Dakota State.
This team wants back in the playoffs and the first two games should give them some confidence. The third game should have them well prepared for anybody they would play in conference.
Elon: @ South Florida (FBS), vs. Furman, @ Charleston Southern.
For a team already playing a Colonial schedule, this is pretty ambitious. Besides the FBS game, the other two opponents have been at least middle-tiered teams in recent memory. Very solid slate.
James Madison: @ North Carolina State (FBS), @ Norfolk State, vs. Robert Morris.
One of the FCS’ top programs takes to the road twice for pre-CAA play. One of which is an in-state return game with Norfolk State, of the MEAC. Giving the “little guy” a bite from the big table is nice.
Maine: @ Western Kentucky (FBS), @ Central Michigan (FBS), @ Yale.
Seems a growing tradition for Maine to double-dip into FBS games. The thing that’s bad is that all three of these are on the road, which means only four opponents will play in Orono this season. Ouch!
New Hampshire: vs. Colgate, @ Colorado (FBS), vs. Holy Cross.
Two homes games are always a nice feature to your non-conference schedule. A road game to the Rockies might be tough to win, but it will be a beautiful setting to play a game.
Rhode Island: @ Connecticut (FBS), @ Harvard, vs. Brown.
Not a lot of gas mileage used for this set of games. They’d really like to beat both Ivy League teams, at least. They did improve last year. A little luck could go a long way.
Richmond: @ Virginia (FBS), vs. Fordham, vs. St. Francis.
A good schedule for a team who disappoint some last year. If they get out of this part of the schedule 2-1, a playoff run should be a possibility again.
Stony Brook: @ Air Force (FBS), vs. Bryant, @ Fordham.
A trip to Colorado to play the Air Force Academy will be memorable. The turnaround to the Northeast for two more games would be tougher if New York to Denver and vice versa wasn’t a direct flight.
Towson: @ Morgan State, @ Wake Forest (FBS), vs. The Citadel.
Playing at a neighboring MEAC school is a nice gesture. The other two games are going to be a lot tougher to pull off the win.
Villanova: @ Temple (FBS), @ Lehigh, vs. Bucknell.
This is the epitome of keeping it close to home. The FBS road game is across the city. The Patriot League road game is a stone’s throw up the highway and the third is home.
William & Mary: @ Bucknell, @ Virginia Tech (FBS), vs. Colgate.
Looking to get back to a winning tradition, the two non-FBS games are at least potential winners against Patriot League foes.
Colonial Opponent Breakdown
1 vs. Big South
4 vs. Ivy
3 vs. Mid-Eastern
1 vs. Missouri Valley
4 vs. Northeast
9 vs. Patriot
2 vs. Southern
12 vs. FBS
Like many of the eastern conference, the Colonial stays in their own backyard whenever possible. It makes things a lot easier on the pocketbook travelwise. The nine games against the Patriot League and four more with the Northeast Conference show that. Everybody but Delaware (none) and Maine (two) play one FBS team. The other thing about having so many options available around you is that nobody plays a lower division opponent. That gives the whole conference a nice boost in strength of schedule. It’s one reason why good teams from the CAA get the benefit of the doubt come playoff time.