Nov 23, 2012, 9:00 AM EDT
As one of FCS Football’s premier conferences, CAA Football certainly has no shortage of news and notes from around the league. See below for some of the latest storylines coming out of the conference and Villanova’s FCS Playoffs First Round matchup with future league member Stony Brook.
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- Villanova became CAA Football’s NCAA automatic qualifier after a wild finish to the regular season. The Wildcats also earned a four-way share of the league title along with New Hampshire, Richmond and Towson.
- UNH and Old Dominion also punched their postseason tickets after earning at-large berths in the FCS Playoffs. Nova travels to Stony Brook for its ESPN3-televised First Round matchup on Saturday, while both UNH and ODU were given byes. The No. 4 seed Monarchs will play host to Saturday’s Bethune-Cookman/Coastal Carolina winner, while the Wildcats hits the road for Wofford.
- The final polls of the regular season were released on Monday with CAA Football fielding six teams in both The Sports Network and FCS Coaches polls. This marks the eighth time the league has had at least six teams in both polls this year.
- CAA Football remains the only FCS conference to have ever had six or more teams ranked in either the TSN or FCS Coaches polls in a single week.
- UNH leads FCS Football with 125 straight appearances in the TSN poll dating back to 2004.
14/18 VILLANOVA (8-3, 6-2) VS. 10/11 STONY BROOK (9-2, 5-1 Big South)
- Villanova earned its fourth postseason berth in the last five years after capturing CAA Football’s autobid last week. The Wildcats were wildly successful during this five-season stretch, winning the national title in 2009 and reaching the semifinals a year later.
- Stony Brook is making its second-straight FCS Playoffs appearance. The Seawolves survived Albany, 31-28, before falling to national runner-up Sam Houston State, 34-27, last season.
- Talley was named CAA Football Coach of the Year on Monday, while freshman QB John Robertson earned Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. Talley and Robertson have also been selected as finalists for the Eddie Robinson (top FCS coach) and Jerry Rice (top FCS freshman) Awards, respectively.
- A total of 12 Wildcats received all-conference honors this week, including four on the first team in senior CB Eric Loper, junior DL Rakim Cox, junior DL Antoine Lewis and sophomore RB Kevin Monangai.
- Saturday’s meeting will be the first between the Wildcats and Seawolves, who are set to join CAA Football in 2013 along with Albany. The winner will travel to No. 3 seed Montana State for next week’s Second Round matchup.
- The Wildcats enter Saturday’s showdown having secured five straight opening-game playoff victories.
- Talley’s 8-3 team delivered the nation’s biggest turnaround this season following its six-win improvement from a year ago (2-9).
- Each of Nova’s eight victories have come by double digits, with the closest being 15-point wins over Fordham and then-No. 9 James Madison.
- The Wildcats wrapped up the regular season boasting the league’s leading rushing offense with an average of 263.4 yards on the ground per game.
- Sophomore RB Kevin Monangai had a great deal to do with this after turning in a conference-best 1,190 rushing yards over 11 games (108.2 ypg)
- SBU senior Miguel Maysonet is just 133 rushing yards shy of the 5,000-yard mark for his career. The Big South Offensive Player of the Year and Walter Payton Award finalist racked up an FCS-best 1,721 yards and 156.45 yards per game in 2012.
- Seawolves senior WR Kevin Norrell extended his streak of games with 100-plus receiving yards to six with 118 in the team’s regular-season finale at Liberty. Norrell became the first player in school history to reach 1,000 yards in a season and holds Big South single-season records with 1,291 yards, 21.5 yards per catch and 117.4 yards per game.
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