By Jack Fitzpatrick
I won’t legitimately copy and past the opening from last week’s Power Rankings but it still applies this week. Only 4 games were played, and 8 teams were in action but the results of all the games brought in to focus the full picture.
This week, there was the least amount of movement and teams are starting to find their groove. The most difficult aspect of the Power Rankings this week was trying to maneuver the teams around with all the postponements and cancellations.
In the end, I feel good about these Power Rankings and I hope you do too! (I know, that is but a dream.)
- Delaware (3-0, 3-0)
Delaware yet again showed that it is the best team in the CAA, and as of right now I don’t know who can threaten that title. The Blue Hens are undefeated in the North Division which is the better of the two divisions and they are doing it with a competent offense and a stout defense. I should say I mean competent as a very high compliment.
The Blue Hens are the second highest-scoring offense in the Colonial, and all of their games came against CAA opponents. JMU is first in scoring offense but that is also factoring in the Morehead State beatdown which inflates the numbers a bit.
I feel like I come back to this every. Single. Week. but Delaware’s defense is the difference and what makes them the best team in the CAA. After the first two games, they were allowing 1.5 points per game, which is just absurd, allowing three points over six quarters is really good. Now, after its matchup with Rhode Island, the points per game total is eight.
This team is consistent, this team is balanced, this team is the best in the CAA and as of right now are on the way to the auto bid.
- JMU (4-0, 2-0)
Is JMU back? Are the dominant world beaters we all expected? Can we get back to calling them National Champion favorites? No, at least I won’t be I need to see more, but they did show they are still a good football squad.
I do need to say welcome back to the top of the Power Rankings JMU, it was interesting to have you so low.
Look, there is no getting around it, I was low on JMU. After escaping Elon with the win, then watching Elon get knocked around by Richmond and William & Mary was disheartening. This week though made me get excited about this team again.
They were missing a few key contributors, most notably Latrele Palmer, Solomon Vanhorse, Percy Agyei-Obese and Gage Moloney, but they didn’t seem to miss a beat on offense and had their best full-game performance since the opening game against Morehead State.
Cole Johnson, after getting benched then moved to the No. 2 QB was thrust into the starting role which I can only imagine what that was like and produced arguably his best game of the season, going 16-22 for 220 yards a touchdown and no picks. Freshman RB Kaelon Black had himself a full-on day rushing for 141 yards and a touchdown on 19 attempts, and the receivers all had solid showings.
Oh, and Clayton Cheatham caught a touchdown pass because that is literally all he does.
This game was what we expected out of the team against Robert Morris and Elon and it finally produced. This performance was essentially a get right game, but next week’s matchup is a de facto playoff game and if the Dukes can win that one, I am fully back on board.
- Rhode Island (2-1, 2-1)
Despite the loss to Delaware I still am very high on Rhode Island.
The Rams put up 21 points on the best defense in the CAA, the most points Delaware has allowed all season and it isn’t that close. Rhode Island’s offense sputtered a bit in this game, putting up just over 200 yards of total offense but Kasim Hill, Rhode Island’s transfer QB seemed to be limited in action.
Full transparency I wasn’t able to watch this game so I am not sure exactly what happened there, but it is worth noting since he is a huge part of the Rams offense and his ability to make plays outside of the pocket and bit up yards on the ground helps Rhode Island stay ahead of the chains.
If Hill is out for an extended time I don’t think they are a top team in the CAA but with Hill in there and healthy he is a better QB in this league and just that fact alone can take a team far.
Also, the resume this team is putting together may be good enough for an at large big if they can win out.
- Richmond (3-0, 3-0)
Richmond is quietly humming along undefeated this season with wins over William & Mary and Elon x2. It does beg the question, just how good are they?
I think they are a good team. Here comes the old sports saying, “You can only play the teams on your schedule.” And that is what they have done and they have won them all in pretty solid form. Blowing Elon both times, taking down a full-strength William & Mary team. This team, led by Joe Mancuso is a real threat in the CAA South.
Next week’s matchup against JMU will be a huge indicator of just where the Spiders are at.
- Villanova (1-1, 1-1)
Daniel Smith is still one of the best QBs in the CAA and because of that, this team is a threat week in and week out. The offense hasn’t been a problem all season it has been their defense and it will be interesting to see how the defense is coming out of this extended pause.
We haven’t seen this team play in quite some time so I am eagerly looking forward to this weekend when they *fingers crossed* can retake the field. This was a dark horse National Champion contender and now, they are a 1-1 team that hasn’t played since March 13.
- Maine (2-1, 2-1)
The opening game blowout loss to Delaware is hurting this team. Against a top-tier team in the CAA the Black Bears just couldn’t compete and didn’t look like they even belonged on the same field.
Since then Maine has rattled off two wins, but the wins were against Stony Brook and Albany, two teams we now know are some of the worst teams in the CAA. This past weekend Maine was out of action so I am left with some questions but this weekend the Black Bears face Villanova which will be a great barometer for both squads.
- William & Mary (1-2, 1-2)
I picked William & Mary to beat JMU. I liked what the team was doing as a whole and I thought Hollis Mathis would be able to carve up JMU’s defense since the Dukes have a history of struggling against dual-threat QBs.
Well, I was wrong and Mathis didn’t play a single snap due to injury. The Tribe’s leading rusher also did not play due to injury. That is the only reason they sit above the rest. I assume this team will get back to form once their starting QB and RB and biggest offensive contributors return to the field.
- UNH (0-1, 0-1)
THIS TEAM STILL HASN’T PLAYED!!
The fact the Wildcats have not played since the opening game of the season is hurting them so much. With each passing week that L is looking worse and worse as Albany looks worse and worse.
I just hope they can play Rhode Island this weekend.
- Albany (1-3, 1-3)
Welp, it was fun.
Albany lost to Stony Brook this week. It was Stony Brook’s only win of the season and after opening the season with a win Albany has lost three straight to Maine, Rhode Island and Stony Brook. A CAA contender to start the season the flaws of this team have been exposed.
Granted Jeff Undercuffler was sidelined for this game, the Alabany offense still has a lot to figure out.
- Stony Brook (1-3, 1-3)
Congrats Stony Brook, you went on the road and got a win.
The bad news is that was against a bad team that is regressing at an alarming rate.
- Elon (1-5, 0-4)
Elon is Elon. The Phoneix lost its second game against Richmond and the same if not worse than they did in game 1, that is bad.
Here’s to looking a little more competitive the rest of the season!