ORONO – Maine is not the only conference team hunting for an opponent for either of the next two weeks, as the top team in the country, James Madison, is also in need of an additional conference game. Could those two cross paths on April 17?
Maine head coach Nick Charlton said on Wednesday that it is all but out of the question for his team to play this weekend, after its opponent, Rhode Island, ended its season early.
As of Wednesday, the team is still working to find a game for the final Saturday of the spring season. No. 1 James Madison is looking for a game on that date to qualify for the conference automatic bid to the FCS playoffs. The Dukes have only played two CAA games, they need three to be considered an automatic qualifier for the conference.
While budgeting for an unexpected opponent can be a major hurdle for an FCS program like Maine, Hero Sports Senior FCS Analyst Sam Herder believes JMU may be willing to play ball.
“JMU really wants a [game], preferably a home game for them, I sure they would pay a certain amount…I also think if they had no other choice but to go on the road, I think JMU would do it,” said Herder.
While Charlton has made it clear his team is committed to finishing out the season, it likely will not be in order to make the FCS playoffs.
As a two loss team, it would likely take a feat as large as knocking off the number one team in the country, plus some of the other potential at-large teams losing out to get Maine in to the postseason.
“Let’s say those two teams play, Maine beats JMU, and maybe the [FCS selection] committee goes ‘you know, they have two losses, but they beat the top ranked team so let’s put them in.’ So, there are some scenarios where Maine could get in to the playoff, but the chances of that happening are obviously pretty slim,” said Herder.