The CAA's conference schedule reaches its midpoint Monday night, with a look at Virginia Commonwealth-Towson on the D1scourse to-do list for the evening.
It's right about this time of the schedule when it becomes reasonable to size up who got fortunate in league scheduling and who did not. That's because it's reasonably clear by now which teams are struggling more than others.
The bottom quarter of the conference is fairly well-established. Neither Northeastern nor Towson has won a league game, and one of William and Mary's victories came against Towson (the other was against Drexel). Combined, the three schools are 1-21 against the top nine teams in the league.
(Notably left out of this is Georgia State, which is 3-5 in the conference but owns victories over James Madison and Virginia Commonwealth. The Panthers get a combined four games against Northeastern, Towson and William and Mary in their final eight CAA contests, which means they're the favorite for a Hofstra 2010-like ascension in the standings late in the season).
Of course, with an 18-game schedule and 11 other league opponents, the CAA doesn't employ a true round-robin. Instead, each school has seven home-and-homes, plus two home-only opponents and two road-only foes.
And here's how those shake out for the bottom three in this year's conference:
Northeastern: Away: James Madison and Old Dominion; Home: Towson and William and Mary
Towson: Away: George Mason and Northeastern; Home: Virginia Commonwealth and William and Mary
William and Mary: Away: Northeastern and Towson; Home: George Mason and Georgia State
Amazingly, none of the series between the three struggling teams repeat, which means it's still mathematically possible (though probably not a likely outcome) for them to combine for a 4-50 league mark. Consider for a moment: If that somehow did happen, everyone else in the CAA would be 104-58 in conference games.
Back on point: The only team in the current top nine with multiple one-game series with the bottom three is George Mason. Georgia State, James Madison, Old Dominion and Virginia Commonwealth each have one.
The most fortunate team? It would seem to be Hofstra, which deals with contenders James Madison, Old Dominion and Virginia Commonwealth just once apiece. So much for southern bias, huh?