CAA announces spring 2021 football scheduling format

Sports

Richmond, V.A. — The Colonial Athletic Association announced Wednesday its format for the Spring 2021 football season.

CAA teams will be divided into two divisions, North and South, and play six league games in a seven-week stretch with an anticipated start date of March 6.  Each team will receive one bye.  Divisional breakdowns and final schedules will be announced in the next few weeks.

All six games on a team’s schedule will be played within its respective division.  The team will the best overall conference record will earn the CAA’s automatic qualifier for the NCAA Football Championship.  A tiebreaking policy will be used in the event division champions finish with the same record.

Additionally, CAA member institutions will be permitted to play up to two non-conference games during the Spring 2021 season, including a non-conference game against an otherwise league opponent.  Per the NCAA, non-conference competitions can begin as early as January 23.

“All of our institutions know that today’s announcement is simply the first step in the planning process associated with playing football on each of our campuses in the Spring,” CAA Commissioner Joe D’Antonio said.  

“Each member institution, as well as the Conference office, has additional protocols that must be finalized and approved in order to ensure a safe return to the field.  Our goal in creating this unique scheduling format was to implement a competitive model while also trying to reduce the risks associated with travel as much as we could.  It’s been an extremely difficult and challenging time, but it’s nice to be able to give our coaches, student-athletes and fans something to look forward to.

“Health and safety remain at the forefront of every decision we are making, and we are hopeful about getting the Spring 2021 season underway,” D’Antonio said.

On July 17, CAA Football announced its decision to suspend conference competition in the Fall of 2020 due to continuing concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic.  At that time, the conference expressed a strong commitment to conducting a football season in the Spring of 2021 and the institution’s athletics directors have worked closely with conference staff to make that happen.

The NCAA Board of Directors recently approved a revised format for the NCAA FCS playoffs, which will feature 16 teams with 11 automatic qualifiers and five at-large berths.  The playoffs are set to begin on Saturday, April 24, with a champion being crowned in Frisco, Texas on May 14, 15 or 16.

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