The Stony Brook Seawolves and Albany Great Danes will join the CAA football conference in 2013, replacing Georgia State and Old Dominion, who are departing the league to move to the FBS ranks. The move will keep the football league at at-least 10 members for the immediate future and allow the members to continue working within an 8-game schedule. Both new conference members made a trip to the FCS postseason last year, and look set to be strong again this Fall.
"This is certainly a momentous day for CAA Football," league commissioner Tom Yeager noted. "The addition of Albany and Stony Brook bring playoff-tested programs from the Northeast into an already nationally-prominent league."
The University of Rhode Island has been asked by the CAA to reconsider its move to the Northeast Conference (that Albany is now leaving), now that the CAA has re-stocked the northern regions of the conference. Their AD, Thorr Bjorn, confirmed the discussions to the Providence Journal, stating that the school will "take the time to do what we think is best for the future of URI football."
If URI opts to remain within the CAA football conference next season, there will be 11 football playing members in the league, which could signal that a 12th school is on the way to allow the conference to split its schedule between two divisions as it has done in the past. Yeager claimed today that football expansion was likely finished, however.
"Stony Brook and Albany are two excellent additions to the CAA Football Conference," Villanova athletic director Vince Nicastro stated. "These are two up-and-coming programs which help solidify the CAA during a critical time in its history. We look forward to them joining what is still the best FCS conference in the nation."
Albany has been successful in recent seasons on the gridiron, winning the Northeast Conference title and a Division I NCAA Championship berth in 2011, after winning eight of its final nine regular season games. They have won 30 games and two NEC championships dating back to the 2008 season. The Great Danes’ offense was among the nation’s best last season averaging better than 33 points/game and holding a pass-efficiency mark of 148.4 which ranked 13th in the country.
Meanwhile, Stony Brook, under head coach Chuck Priore, won the last three consecutive Big South titles and is a expected to win a fourth this Fall. The program's made its first-ever NCAA Division I Football Championship appearance last season as well, advancing to the second round after a 31-28, first-round win over Albany before losing to Sam Houston State, who were the runners-up in the FCS title game. The Seawolves finished the season nationally ranked and had the nation's top scoring offense (38.0 points per game).
"Welcoming the Seawolves into our league next season will present our current members with yet another challenging matchup come Saturday's in the fall," Yeager said.
Nova football injury update
Villanova's senior defensive back Mike Mayock is undergoing ACL surgery today. It would appear unlikely that he will play this season for the Wildcats. The team has a number of options in the defensive secondary, however, but it is never good to miss out on a player who can bring some experience.