Albany

UAlbany football’s Gattuso wishes CAA schedule included conference championship game

UAlbany football head coach Greg Gattuso is shown at a recent media availability. (Peter R. Barber)

UAlbany football head coach Greg Gattuso is shown at a recent media availability. (Peter R. Barber)

Categories: -The Daily Gazette, College Sports, Sports

ALBANY — The UAlbany football program received its CAA schedule Tuesday for the 2020 spring season.

In his opinion, head coach Greg Gattuso said it’s missing something.

“Would I have loved a championship game?” Gattuso said Wednesday during a media availability with area reporters at SEFCU Arena. “I thought it was perfect for it, to be honest.”

Instead, the CAA’s teams will each play six league games in a season moved from the fall to the spring because of concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic. The conference’s teams are divided into a seven-team North Division and a four-team South Division, with Towson the lone CAA program that has opted not to play next spring.

UAlbany will play each of its North Division opponents once, while South Division squads will play a home-and-home series against each other. From there, the team with the best conference winning percentage will earn the CAA’s automatic qualifier for the FCS playoffs. If two teams are tied with the same record, a tiebreaking procedure will be used.

Gattuso? He’d prefer the North champion take on the South champion to determine which CAA program earns automatic entry into the FCS playoffs that will include 16 teams next spring instead of the level’s usual 24.

“I’m a believer in championship games, when they’re possible,” said Gattuso, who described the CAA’s 2020 spring setup as one that’s “perfect” for a championship game to conclude.

Gattuso, whose program finished 9-5 last season and won its first-ever FCS playoff game, added: “We were in favor of playing a championship game. The coaches and the league voted a certain way. I think that a championship game would have completely cleared it up, but we play them as they lay them down.”

UAlbany, Gattuso said, is seeking to play one non-conference game before its CAA opener. Teams are allowed to play as early as Jan. 23.

UAlbany’s CAA season starts with back-to-back road games. The Great Danes play March 6 at New Hampshire and March 13 at Maine before playing home games against Rhode Island and Stony Brook, then traveling to Delaware before closing with a home game against Villanova.

“It definitely is a tough schedule,” UAlbany quarterback Jeff Undercuffler said. “We’re looking forward to it, and we can’t wait.”

Gattuso said UAlbany plans to conduct its first full fall practice with pads next Wednesday.

“We’re just been trying to transition into football mode,” Gattuso said.

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