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ODU's Coach picks his team last in CAA preseason rankings
So what came about in the Colonial Athletic Association annual meetings in Hilton Head, S.C.? Not a whole lot, really.
There was some discussion about what to do with the games that UMass plays against CAA teams. For those out of the loop, UMass had announced that it’s joining the MAC for football, moving up from the Football Championship Subdivision to the Football Bowl Subdivision. That makes the Minutemen ineligible for the CAA championship.
Coach Wilder said no firm decisions were made as to how to handle it.
While there, the coaches voted on the preseason All-CAA team and the preseason rankings.
Wilder voted for his team to finish dead last in the CAA, paying homage to what he calls “the toughest FCS conference in the country.”
“We have to earn our way from the bottom up,” Wilder said.
Believing that the Monarchs would finish last in the CAA is not easy. William and Mary won the CAA last season and many of us recall that the Tribe was fortunate to get out of Foreman Field with a 21-17 win over the Monarchs.
If you are playing the top team that tough, why should you expect to finish last in the league?
The preseason picks and the preseason All-CAA team will be announced July 27 at the league’s preseason media day in Baltimore.
* The release of ODU’s kickoff times was announced as “tentative” and fans should take that to mean what it means. As it is, ODU is “tentatively” scheduled to play its first three home games against Campbell (Sept. 3), Hampton (Sept. 17) and UMass (Oct. 1) at 6 p.m.
The last three home games against Towson (Oct. 15), JMU (Oct. 29) and Richmond (Nov. 5) are “tentatively” set for 3:30 kickoffs.
A word from this corner: Write those on your calendar in pencil, because something’s going to change.
Wilder is a proponent of the 6 o’clock start in the early part of the season. But when the season gets going and the weather turns cooler, look for those later October and November games to be played at noon or 1.
* June 29 will be a big day for the Monarchs. That’s when the incoming class of freshmen report for summer classes.
* ODU will be putting on a series of camps for high school kids in June and July. On June 25 the Monarchs will hold a one-day camp for rising seniors. July 11-13 there will be a little guys camp for younger players. On July 14 there will be a camp for specialists (kickers, punters and long snappers).
The Monarchs will hold team camps July 18-20 and July 25-27. In between, there will be another one-day camp on July 23.
* Defensive end Andrew Turner, who ruptured his achilles on the next-to-last day of spring workouts, remains on crutches following surgery, but is expected to begin riding an exercise bike on Monday and putting weight on the foot.
Turner’s return to the playing field for the upcoming season is questionable. Should he be unable to return, his case could mark the first time ODU applies for a sixth year of eligibility for a football player. Turner was one of the incoming class of 2008 that red-shirted as an entire group.
By Rich Radford, The Virginian-Pilot