(Editor's Note: These scenarios are for the CAA's auto-bid to the playoffs. Villanova could be an at-large selection at 7-4 if they win out. But given a bad loss to Penn, Robertson's injury, and a deep CAA, this is the sure way in.)
Villanova defeated Rhode Island over the weekend, and it got Brian and I thinking - could Villanova still win the CAA? And even crazier, could they secure the conference's auto-bid and go back to the playoffs?
In short, yes. But they need some help Here are the conference standings as of the last weekend of play
|William & Mary||5-1||0.833||7-2||0.778||W5|
With just two games remaining in the season, and the Wildcats behind both Richmond and William & Mary in the loss column, the only way they can win the conference is as co-champions. That means tie-breakers to go to the playoffs! Here are the rules, via the CAA Football handbook:
(Editor's note: We were severely disappointed to learn that a coin-flip, rock-paper-scissors, or short-straw draw wouldn't be taking place at an undisclosed truck stop. Friday Night Lights will always be the greatest.)
Villanova has Richmond at home next week. Lose, and they're out. Win, and they're level on losses with the Spiders. They'll also need to beat James Madison on the road - and the Dukes look mortal after losing Vad Lee for the season.
William & Mary and Towson are the other problems. The Tribe have already beaten Villanova, and they need to lose again. They get Towson at home this weekend, and travel to Richmond in the last week of the season. There are a couple of ways this plays out where Villanova is involved:
William & Mary loses to Towson & Richmond
That eliminates the Tribe, and creates a three-way tie for first between Villanova, Richmond and Towson. Since the Spiders & Tigers didn't play this season, the win-loss percentage versus the highest-placed common opponents would be used.
That opponent would be William & Mary - Towson and Richmond both would have beaten them, meaning Villanova would be eliminated due to their loss.
William & Mary beats Towson, loses to Richmond
That eliminates the Tigers, and creates a three-way tie for first between Villanova, Richmond and William & Mary. Win-loss percentage for each teams versus the tied teams would be used. All three teams would be 1-1, meaning that the win-loss percentage against the highest common opponent would be used.
Due to the CAA's scheduling and results, a tie wouldn't be broken by this formula as all would have beaten their common opponents in descending order.
That means the Jeff Sagarin "ELO_CHESS" Ratings would be used. Currently, William & Mary is ranked 101st, Richmond is 121st and Villanova is 126th. This is where it all gets hypothetical. Villanova would almost certainly go ahead of the Spiders in the ratings by beating them and James Madison (#99) - but would it be enough to leapfrog William & Mary?
Even crazier, those ratings aren't released until the Sunday after the games. Meaning that we'll be in limbo for almost 24 hours. College football is the best.
For now, you are Wildcats and Tribe fans this coming Saturday.