CAA sets up James Madison-Richmond showdown for April 17

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When I talked to Colonial Athletic Association commissioner Joe D'Antonio for our FCS weekend preview piece that posted yesterday, he joked that each of the games still on for this coming weekend would be played, but it was only Thursday.

Here we are on Friday and another has been canceled.

Saturday's game pitting No. 12 Richmond and William & Mary has been canceled due to COVID-19 protocols in the W&M program, thereby ending the Tribe's season at 1-2. Due to a combination of cancelations and opt-outs, Delaware will be the only CAA team in action this weekend; the Blue Hens visit Delaware State for a non-conference game.

In conjunction with the Richmond-W&M cancelation, the CAA also announced the Spiders will visit James Madison on Saturday, April 17.

The game will serve as the CAA South championship. Richmond leads the division at 3-0, while James Madison is 2-0. The Dukes, ranked No. 1 in the STATS FCS Top 25 and by the FCS selection committee's midseason top 10, have played just one game since March 6 and needed another game to receive consideration for the CAA championship and the league's auto-bid.

Both of the previously scheduled Richmond-JMU games were canceled, so this game needed to happen. It also happens to be an intense rivalry of two excellent Virginia neighbors, one that once hosted College GameDay.

Due to cancelations across the conference, the CAA champion will by chosen by a committee of conference ADs.

While Richmond and JMU battle in the South, 2-1 Villanova will visit 3-0 Delaware for the North title. All four teams would be eligible for AQ consideration with victories next Saturday, but considering James Madison is the consensus No. 1 team in the country, it seems likely the game that just went on the books today will stand as the de facto CAA championship game.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.