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Courtesy: CAA
Richmond's Eric McBride

CAA FOOTBALL ENTERS PLAYOFFS WITH FOUR RANKED SQUADS

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 11/24/2010
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RICHMOND, Va. (November 24, 2010) -- CAA Football notched four bids in the 2010 NCAA Division I National Championship field of 20, and also earned four byes into the second round.  The league learned its fate, hours after logging four squads among the nation’s Top 11.  William and Mary took over the tops spot among the conference’s ranked teams, after it topped Richmond and Delaware lost to Villanova in the season’s final weekend.  The Tribe, ranked fourth in both polls, garnered CAA Football’s automatic bid thanks to its head-to-head win over Delaware earlier in the season but shared the conference crown with the Blue Hens thanks to identical 6-2 conference marks.  Below are some notes on CAA Football among both the nation’s Top 25 polls,  as well as other news and notes from around the league heading into the NCAA Division I Football Championships.

CAA Football’s dominance in the Sports Network/Fathead.com Top 25 slowed following the season’s final weekend as just four squads appear on the list.  William and Mary, after topping Richmond 41-3, moved up to No. 4.  Delaware, which squandered a shot at the CAA Football outright title by losing to Villanova at home, fell four spots to No. 5.  Villanova used its win at Delaware to earn a spot in the playoffs and jump 10 spots to No. 10.  New Hampshire ended its regular season with a victory over Towson, moved up to No. 11 and now has the nation’s longest active playoff appearance streak at seven-straight seasons.  Both Richmond and Massachusetts fell in the season’s final weekend but did garner 301 and 229 points in the polling process, respectively.  James Madison (188) continued to garner votes and Rhode Island, which beat the Minutemen to finish 4-4 in league play, logged six points in this week’s poll.

The Sports Network/Fathead.com Top 25 Notes...
-- Three CAA Football squads have held the No. 1 spot in the The Sports Network/Fathead.com Top 25 this season - Delaware, Villanova and William and Mary.

-- CAA Football only has three teams in the Top 10 this week - third time this season.  The league had as many as five of the Top 10 from Sept. 20-Oct. 11 (four weeks).

-- The league had its record nine-week streak of seven teams ranked in The Sports Network/Fathead.com Top 25 end Nov. 15.

-- Only four of CAA Football’s 10 teams are ranked in the Top 11 this week - down from six in the Top 25 the last two weeks.

-- If you’re counting teams that receive recognition by way of votes in the poll, eight of CAA Football’s 10 were honored this week - four in the Top 15 and four outside of the poll, but receiving votes.

-- The league has had at least three teams ranked every week since The Sports Network’s poll began and two teams among the poll’s Top 10 in 82-straight weeks.

William and Mary leads just four ranked CAA Football squads in this week’s FCS Coaches Poll.  The Tribe earned a share of the league crown with a 41-3 win over Richmond and a loss by Delaware at home to Villanova.  The Tribe, with its win Saturday, jumped two spots to No. 4 while Delaware fell four spots to No. 5.  New Hampshire used a workman-like effort to garner a win over Towson and jumped three places to No. 10.  The Wildcats also earned their seventh-straight playoff appearance thanks to that win and a 7-4 overall record.  Villanova moved up four in the rankings into a tie for No. 11 with South Carolina State.  The Wildcats were victorious in their must-win game at Delaware Saturday in the Battle of the Blue.  Three other CAA Football squads logged votes in the polling process including Richmond (38), Massachusetts (18) and James Madison (11).

FCS Coaches Top 25 Notes...
-- Two CAA Football teams have been No. 1 in the Coaches poll this season - Delaware and Villanova.

-- Just three CAA Football squads appear in this week’s Top 10 - third time this season.  The conference had as many as six among the Top 10 earlier this season (Sept. 20).

-- CAA Football’s nine-straight weeks with seven ranked teams ended two weeks ago (Sept. 6-Nov. 1).  CAA Football is the only league to ever have seven teams ranked in a single week of the Coaches poll.

-- Four CAA Football teams are among the Top 11 this week, marking the first time this season it has had fewer than six ranked teams.

-- CAA Football has had at least four squads ranked every week in the FCS Coaches poll since it debuted in 2007.

News and Notes from around the league...
-- Senior quarterback Pat Devlin earned the league’s top offensive honor, while Richmond linebacker Eric McBride and Massachusetts junior linebacker Tyler Holmes garnered the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year award.  In all 99 conference honors were handed out following the regular season’s final weekend.

-- The Sports Network released its ballots for the Walter Payton, Buck Buchanan and Eddie Robinson Awards and CAA Football is represented by a total of nine candidates.  Devlin and Villanova’s Chris Whitney (QB) and Ben Ijalana (OL ) are part of the Payton Award ballot.  McBride, Holmes, New Hampshire’s Matt Evans (LB) and Richmond’s Martin Parker (DL) logged spots on the Buchanan ballot.  Delaware head coach K.C. Keeler and William and Mary head coach Jimmye Laycock, who shared the 2010 CAA Football Championship, are both part of the Eddie Robinson ballot.  The honors will be handed out at an awards banquet presented by The Sports Network and Fathead.com, Jan. 6, as part of the 2011 Division I National Championship weekend celebration in Frisco, Texas.

-- Massachusetts senior wide receiver Anthony Nelson was named to the ESPN Academic All-American Football First Team on Tuesday.  He is UMass’ first Academic All-American since linebacker Mark Kimener in 2003.  A First Team All-Colonial Athletic Association wide receiver as a junior and senior, Nelson led the CAA with 61 catches for 830 yards and four touchdowns. An Economics major with a 3.88 G.P.A., he helped Massachusetts post a 6-5 record. A transfer from Hofstra, he finished his career with 180 receptions for 2,212 yards. A native of Wellington, Fla., Nelson also excelled as a return specialist.

-- Delaware remained at the top of the College Sporting News’ Gridiron Power Index (GPI) despite its loss to Villanova in the season final weekend.  CAA Football also showed seven squads in the rating’s Top 25, including four of the Top 10.  Overall, the league leads the conference rankings by more than five rating points.  The GPI is an index ranking for the NCAA Division I FCS and a top indicator of at-large playoff selection.

CAA Football is blogging at caafootballblog.com...be sure to checkout the official blog of CAA Football to find all sorts of information that might not be at CAASports.com.  CAA Football is also on Twitter...Fans from all 10 schools can get up-to-date information by following the league at twitter.com/The_CAAFootball.  CAA Football will tweet throughout this offseason and continue into the 2010 fall season.  The league is also active in the new media area and encourages fans to visit us on YouTube:  youtube.com/CAAFootball.  Logon now and subscribe to see the latest video productions from CAA Football.  Fans can also get their CAA Football news delivered straight to them by following the league on Digg:  digg.com/caafootball.

Below is a comparison showing the final regular season National Polls released Nov. 21.

Sports Network/Fathead.com Top 25 Ranking FCS Coaches Top 25
Eastern Washington (64) No. 1 Eastern Washington (13)
Appalachian State (39) No. 2 Stephen F. Austin (1)
Stephen F. Austin (6) No. 3 Appalachian State (12)
William and Mary (3) No. 4 William and Mary
Delaware (4) No. 5 Delaware
Montana State (7) No. 6 Wofford
Wofford (1) No. 7 Montana State
Jacksonville State (4) No. 8 Southeast Missouri State
Southeast Missouri State No. 9 Jacksonville State (1)
Villanova No. 10 New Hampshire
New Hampshire No. 11 Villanova
South Carolina State No. 12 South Carolina State
Bethune-Cookman (1) No. 13 Penn
Penn No. 14 Bethune-Cookman
Montana No. 15 Liberty
Northern Iowa No. 16 Northern Iowa
Liberty No. 17 Montana
Jacksonville No. 18 Lehigh
Lehigh No. 19 Jacksonville
Georgia Southern No. 20 Cal Poly
Western Illinois No. 21 North Dakota State
Cal Poly No. 22 Georgia Southern
Dayton No. 23 Grambling State
Grambling State No. 24 Western Illinois
North Dakota State No. 25 Dayton

The Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) has announced the seventh weekly ECAC® Lambert Meadowlands Football Poll presented by FieldTurf Tarkett of the 2010 season.  William and Mary returned to the poll’s top spot in the Lambert Meadowlands Poll after a 41-3 rout of Richmond coupled with a Delaware loss to Villanova.

The ECAC will release the weekly poll in each of the four divisions (Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), Division II and Division III) and the final poll in January will determine the trophy winners. The first place teams in the final poll will be presented with their Lambert Meadowlands Awards during the Eastern College Football Awards Banquet.

Established in 1936 as the Lambert Trophy to recognize supremacy in Eastern college football, the award has since grown to recognize the best team in the East in the Bowl Subdivision. In 1957, the Lambert Cup was created to recognize non-Division I-A teams, and in 1966 a Division III award was added. In 1983, the Lambert family decided the Meadowlands Sports Complex would be the best organization with a sincere and involved interest in college athletics to sponsor and manage the award, and since that time, the awards have been known as the Lambert Meadowlands Awards.

To be eligible for the Lambert Meadowlands Award, a school must be located in the East or play at least half of its schedule against eligible Lambert teams. The territory includes New York, New Jersey, New England and Pennsylvania, while teams in the bordering states of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia and the District of Columbia qualify if at least half of their schedule features eligible teams. Teams in Eastern-based football conferences, regardless of location, qualify if at least half their schedule is against Lambert eligible teams.

Below is the ECAC Lambert Cup Football Championship Subdivision Poll released Nov. 22.

Rank Team Record Points
No. 1 William and Mary 9-3 156
No. 2 Delaware 9-2 138
No. 3 Penn 9-1 122
No. 4 Villanova 7-4 114
No. 5 New Hampshire 7-4 104
No. 6 Lehigh 9-2 80
No. 7 James Madison 6-5 48
No. 8 Robert Morris 8-2 36
No. 9 Harvard 6-5 26
No. 10 Richmond 6-5 24
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