By Scott Levy, CSJ Columnist
PHILADELPHIA, PA – The College Football season has surpassed the halfway point. Many teams have graced the ranks of the Top 10 and many have fallen from their position. The Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) has been a surprisingly strong conference thus far and will produce some interesting outcomes as the season comes to a close.
With the release of the Week 7 FCS power rankings, the CAA finds two teams featured within the Top 10. James Madison and Richmond stand strong in the 6th and 7th positions respectively. James Madison has showcased a wonderful combination of victories thus far., and they are perfect in conference with 3-0 record.
Their only non-conference loss came at the hands of a Division 1 talent, the North Carolina Tar Heels. Their remaining games prove to be a tough stretch for this surprising division leader as they must visit New Hampshire, Richmond and Villanova to round out the road stretch of their schedule.
This competition will be stiff and is sure to shake up the current standings in the division and power rankings.
Just behind James Madison is another conference powerhouse in Richmond. They have one big blemish on their schedule and that is a division loss to Stony Brook.
While Stony Brook has pieced together a fine season themselves, it has dropped Richmond in overall CAA conference standings.
With a 5-1 overall record, Richmond will look to close out their season with games against Villanova and James Madison. Both games mark home competitions which will favor the team’s efforts. Richmond does have a key win over Virginia on their side, which will fare well for their chance to remain near the top of the FCS power rankings.
Just outside of the top 10 in the FCS power rankings is Villanova.
Villanova has produced a 5-1 record thus far with their only loss coming in week 1 against another Division 1 powerhouse in Pittsburgh. Villanova is currently sporting a 5 game winning streak, as well with a perfect record in the CAA. All of their victories have supported rather impressive margins thus far, but their competition wasn’t the strongest during that stretch. They must travel to Richmond and host James Madison as they look to close out a successful season.
Then comes the few dark horses that find themselves outside of the top 20 in the FCS power rankings.
Stony Brook and New Hampshire both hold a perfect conference record. New Hampshire is 4-2 overall while Stony Brook holds a 3-2 record.
Stony Brook has proven thick skin against tough competition when they demolished Richmond 42-14 at home. They are a scary competitor and will be a tough fight for any team as the season closes.
New Hampshire started their season as the odds on favorite to win the conference. Their game results haven’t supported this notion so far, but their season is still young as well. If they can string together some wins against the toughest remaining conference schedule, they should find themselves in the top 10 or 15 at season close.
There are plenty of games remaining in the CAA conference. Intriguing match-ups and some high stakes games are sure to shake up these standings. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top when the season closes.
CAA Power Rankings:
1. James Madison
3. New Hampshire
5. Stony Brook
10. William & Mary
11. Rhode Island