CAA Football 2020 Non-Conference Schedule Analysis

Colonial Athletic Association
FCS Non-Conference Schedule Analysis
The Colonial, again, has stuck to its regional scheduling pattern. Playing six times each against the Northeast Conference and Patriot League, they only have games scheduled against four other conferences. In fact, the only two games they play against teams west of the Mississippi River, both on the road, are FBS games. The CAA plays 13 FBS opponents and none from below FCS. What this means is that a certain level of muscle will be given to their overall strength of schedule without even playing a game.
Albany: @ Delaware State, vs. Monmouth, @ Massachusetts (FBS).
  • This is a terrific schedule for the Great Danes. Delaware State is a sneaky road game in the sense it’s a game Albany should win and it shows their willingness to travel in non-conference. Monmouth is at least a fellow FCS team who figures to be near the playoff picture. And Massachusetts is an FBS program that does not require long travel and has shown susceptibility to being upset by FCS teams.
Delaware: vs. Long Island, @ North Carolina State (FBS), vs. Delaware State.
  • Delaware will play a couple CAA games before getting to these first two non-conference match-ups. Long Island is in their second year of FCS play. North Carolina State will be a very tough game. The in-state game with Delaware State will close out the regular season and could be used as a way of trying to impress the Selection Committee late.
Elon: @ The Citadel, @ Duke (FBS), vs. Campbell.
  • These are the Phoenix first three games, which is traditional. The good news, the travel to The Citadel and to FBS Duke won’t be too taxing on the travel budget and they’ll get a nice check in the process. The home game here with Campbell will be their only home game in their first five.
James Madison: vs. Chattanooga, @ North Carolina (FBS), vs. Merrimack.
  • James Madison will look to start the 2020 season off better than they finished 2019. But losing in the FCS Championship is something nobody else can claim. The Dukes should still be tough and the home games with Chattanooga and Merrimack, which is the season ender, should be fine. The roadie to North Carolina? Who knows? JMU makes these interesting more times than not.
Maine: @ Ball State (FBS), vs. Monmouth, @ Connecticut (FBS).
  • Years prior, Maine has not been playing non-conference games at home. Part of that is the fact they’ve actively played two FBS programs to collect that money. The other part is getting teams to agree to come all the way to Orono. It’s not too long of a trip for Monmouth and it’s a solid opponent, which will serve as good preparation for the CAA.
New Hampshire: @ Kansas (FBS), @ Colgate, vs. Merrimack.
  • New Hampshire is one of those teams who seemingly likes to “get outta town” when they play FBS schools. Kansas is definitely not in the CAA geographic footprint. Road games to Colgate and Merrimack should yield victories. Overall, this is a good schedule.
Rhode Island: @ Northern Illinois (FBS), @ Bryant, vs. Brown.
  • The Rams will take their roadshow as far west in the eastern United States as they can, traveling to FBS Northern Illinois. They come back for a second consecutive road game to start the season, but Bryant will be almost like a home game, it’s so close. The home game with Brown comes after a couple CAA games. This slate could give URI a couple of wins.
Richmond: vs. St. Francis, @ Pittsburgh (FBS), @ Yale.
  • Interesting schedule for the “Arachnids.” They lead off the season at home with St. Francis, which should be winnable. They jump in CAA action at UNH. Then come back to a non-con at FBS Pittsburgh. A couple more CAA games follow with a bye before finishing non-con action @ Yale. That’s a lot of skipping back and forth. Early focus will probably mean a lot with their schedule.
Stony Brook: @ Fordham, @ Florida Atlantic (FBS), vs. Sacred Heart.
  • Stony Brook has followed a pretty simple scheduling format; play close to home, and get an FBS game somewhere far away. But when you get to fly out of metro New York City, you can connect to anywhere east of the Mississippi pretty easily. This is a good schedule for them, as both FCS games are winnable and a ticket to Florida will be profitable and beautiful.
Towson: @ Maryland (FBS), vs. Morgan State, vs. Dartmouth.
  • The Tigers athletic department did a great job keeping their team near home this year. The trip to Maryland is in state, of course. The two home non-conference games have a home CAA tilt sandwiched in between, meaning Towson won’t leave the state of Maryland until October 10. That game is in Philadelphia, at Villanova, hardly a long bus ride.
 Villanova: vs. Lehigh, @ Bucknell, @ Wake Forest (FBS).
  • The Wildcats have Lehigh and Bucknell on their schedule again this season. And it’s a good fit getting these other close Pennsylvania schools together. The trip to FBS Wake Forest may have been better served to play Week 1, if they could have, when FCS upsets seem likelier. Still, it’s a relatively short trip for a good payday and maybe an upset?
 William & Mary: @ Stanford (FBS), vs. Colgate, @ Lafayette.
  • Another year where William & Mary will play multiple Patriot League teams. Same two as 2019, in fact, the only difference is that they will play at Lafayette, while still hosting Colgate. The FBS trip to California to play Stanford is about as far out there as they could get. Maybe there’s a connection between the teams I’m unfamiliar with.
Colonial Numbers
3 vs. Big South
3 vs. Ivy
3 vs. MEAC
6 vs. NEC
6 vs. Patriot
2 vs. Southern
13 vs. FBS
0 vs. Lower Division (Div-II, Div-III, NAIA, NCCAA)