URI Football Releases Seven-Game Schedule For Spring 2021
University of Rhode Island Press Release
RICHMOND, Va. – CAA Football announced its conference schedule for the 2021 Spring season, which includes a six-game slate for each institution using a unique divisional format.
The North Division will include seven teams – UAlbany, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Stony Brook and Villanova. There will be four teams in the South Division – Elon, James Madison, Richmond and William & Mary. Teams in the North will face each other once (three home, three away), while teams in the South will meet twice, with each team getting a home and an away game. Towson announced on October 19 that it would not compete during the 2021 Spring season.
Under the adjusted format, Rhode Island opens the season with road games at Villanova (March 13) and Albany (March 20). The Rams are then home for three consecutive games, hosting Delaware (March 27), New Hampshire (April 3) and Maine (April 10) before finishing the regular season at Stony Brook (April 17).
In addition to the six-game league schedule, Rhode Island will play a non-conference game at in-state rival Bryant Feb. 27. It will be the first meeting between the schools since 2002.
The team with the best overall conference record will earn the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Football Championship. Should the divisional champions finish with the same conference record, a tie- breaking procedure will be used to determine the automatic qualifier.
“We are pleased to announce the conference schedule for the 2021 Spring football season, but understand 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.
“Today’s announcement hopefully provides an additional level of excitement for the student-athletes and coaches who have worked hard and made numerous sacrifices over the past eight months. As always, health and safety remain at the forefront of all return-to-play decisions that we as a Conference continue to make.”
Conference play begins on Saturday, March 6 and concludes on Saturday, April 17. Each team has a bye week in the schedule, which could provide flexibility to make up games postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic if necessary.
Each institution has the option of adding up to two additional non-conference games to their schedule. Institutions are able to schedule “non-conference” games against other conference members, but those games would 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 January 23.
The NCAA Football Championship will feature 16 teams with 11 automatic qualifiers and five at-large berths. The playoffs are set to begin on Saturday, April 24 with a champion being crowned in Frisco, Texas on May 14, 15 or 16.
2020-21 Rhode Island Football Schedule
Feb. 27 – at Bryant
March 13 – at Villanova
March 20 – at Albany
March 27 – Delaware
April 3 – New Hampshire
April 10 – Maine
April 17 – at Stony Brook