The Colonial Athletic League, which includes the University of Delaware, plans a six-game spring conference schedule that includes the option for institutions to add up to two non-conference contests.
The conference will use a North/South divisional format, with all six league games coming against teams within the division, a press release said.
The team with the best overall conference record will be the conference’s automatic qualifier to the NCAA Football Championship. Should the divisional champions finish with the same record, a tiebreaking policy will be used to determine the automatic qualifier.
Conference play should start on March 6 and end April 17, with each team receiving a bye week, the press release said.
Non-conference will not count towards the conference standings and the outcome would not be used in the tiebreaking procedures. Based on NCAA guidelines, teams are allowed to begin non-conference competition as early as Jan. 23.
The makeup of the divisions and the final conference schedule will be announced in the next several weeks, the press release said.
“All of our institutions know that today’s announcement is simply the first step in the planning process associated with playing football on each of our campuses in the Spring,” CAA Commissioner Joe D’Antonio said in the release.
The conference and each member has protocols that must be finalized and approved for safety.
“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,” D’Antonio said in the release. “It’s been an extremely difficult and challenging time, but it’s nice to be able to give our coaches, student-athletes and fans something to look forward to. Health and safety remain at the forefront of every decision we are making, and we are hopeful about getting the Spring 2021 season underway.”
CAA Football announced in July it would move the fall season into spring.
The NCAA Board of Directors has approved a playoff system, with 16 teams including 11 automatic qualifiers and five at-large berths. Playoffs are set to begin on April 24, with a champion being crowned in Frisco, Texas on May 14, 15 or 16.