Delaware’s Blue Hens will start its Spring 2021 Colonial Athletic Association football season March 6 at home against the visiting Maine Black Bears, according to a CAA Football release.
Instead of the normal 12-team conference set up, there will be North and South divisions with the Blue Hens assigned to the seven-team North Division. It includes the University at Albany (SUNY), New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Stony Brook (NY) and Villanova. Stony Brook and Rhode Island were the only teams to finish below UD in the 2019-2020 campaign.
The South Division is made up of defending league champion and perennial NCAA Football Championship power James Madison, Richmond, William & Mary and Elon.
Delaware, 5-7 overall and 3-5 in league contests last year, will play all of its games against divisional foes with three at Delaware Stadium and three on the road. The first away contest is March 20 when the Blue Hens travel to Durham, New Hampshire, to face the University of New Hampshire.
Each team does have a bye week included in its schedule in case games are canceled by COVID-19, with the Blue Hens’ set for April 10.
The regular season is scheduled to end on April 17 when UD travels to Villanova. Teams in the league can schedule up to two “non-conference” games, which would be against fellow CAA members. These games however would not count in the conference standings and help in determining the league champion.
The team with the best overall record, whether from the North or South Division, will earn the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Football Championship playoffs, which begins on April 24.
“This is just the next step in the planning process associated with playing football on each of our campuses,” CAA Commissioner Joe D’Antonio said. “Our unique divisional format was developed with the goal of enhancing safety and reducing the risks associated with travel during this difficult period of time, while still providing a fair and competitive model to determine a champion.”
Here is Delaware’s schedule:
- March 6: Maine at Delaware
- March 13: Stony Brook at Delaware
- March 20: Delaware at New Hampshire
- March 27: Delaware at Rhode Island
- April 3: UAlbany at Delaware
- April 10: Open Date
- April 17: Delaware at Villanova