Nov 18, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT
After 12 weeks of regular-season play, we’ve finally arrived at Selection Sunday. Given the many unknowns heading into today, if there was one thing we did know, Andy Talley’s late-night tweet yesterday said it all…
The head coach of Villanova and his Wildcats became CAA Football’s NCAA Championship automatic qualifier at the close of Saturday’s riveting day of regular-season finale play, prevailing in what was likely the most complex set of autobid tiebreaker scenarios in conference history. When it came down to it, the Wildcats needed four things to happen:
1. They needed to beat rival Delaware on the road in the Battle of the Blue (41-10 win – check)
2. A Towson road win over a top-10 New Hampshire team that had won 29 of its last 32 home games (64-35 win – check)
3. A Richmond road win over rival and record-deceiving William and Mary in the “Oldest Rivalry in the South” (21-14 win – check)
4. An Old Dominion road victory over a vengeance-seeking James Madison squad fighting for its postseason lives in front of 20,000+ fans (38-28 win – check)
All four scenarios played out in the Cats’ favor, albeit not until after the end of the JMU/ODU affair late last night. With its win, Nova also earned a four-way share of the CAA title along with New Hampshire, Richmond and Towson.
While I’m not sure how apt this adjective remains in describing Coach Talley’s team, the “upstart” Wildcats, picked to finish 8th of 11 CAA squads in preseason voting, now return to the playoffs for the fourth time in five years and the 10th time in Talley’s tenure with the team. Nova also enters the postseason playing as the league’s autobid for the second time in program history after first doing so during a 2009 season that saw them go on to win the national title.
More on the Wildcats’ automatic berth and regular-season run can be found here.
Nova and our remaining CAA squads hoping for one of just 20 coveted NCAA Championship spots will learn their fate on today’s FCS Selection Show on ESPNU at 1:30 p.m.
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