In what has been a quiet fall season so far, student-athletes have been waiting in anticipation to see what their postponed seasons will look like. On Wednesday, Sept. 30, the Seawolves received some great news that will help them get through the winter. The Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) announced a plan for a six-game football season starting March 6, 2021.
The CAA season will last seven weeks, ending on April 17. It allows for six games against conference opponents with an additional week allotted for each team to have a bye week. Additionally, Stony Brook will play two non-conference games, which will bring its total to eight games – the maximum number that the NCAA has allowed teams to play.
Head coach Chuck Priore reacted to the news in a press release. “We are excited about today’s announcement of our winter/spring football season,” he said. “We have been preparing since July’s postponement announcement with great anticipation to compete this academic year.”
Included with this new plan is a modified format; the conference will be split into North and South divisions with Stony Brook playing in the North. While the remainder of the teams in each division is unknown, the CAA will make the announcement on that front and one on a final schedule in the upcoming weeks.
Even though the Stony Brook football team plays in the CAA and not the America East like the school’s other fall sports, its games have also been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This postponement was announced on July 17 with the intention of resuming in the spring of 2021. As the new plan suggests, the conference was successful in attaining this goal.
Joe D’Antonio, the commissioner of the CAA, has played a part in this process. “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,” he said.
The Seawolves will be hoping to make the FCS playoffs this spring, something they did not accomplish last season. As per usual, the team with the best conference record will automatically qualify for the playoffs, which will start April 24. A revised playoff format means 16 teams will play for the championship rather than 24.
Despite this prolonged layoff between the initial postponement and the start of the new season, Coach Priore is confident in his team. “We will be ready to compete for a CAA championship when the time comes,” he said. While March is still far away, this announcement gives the team something to look forward to as they build themselves up to preseason form.