In a shocking announcement, A-10 Commissioner Bernadette McGlade announced that the Atlantic 10 is resuming football for the 2021 fall season.
“The A-10 and its schools have a rich football tradition, and we are extremely excited to resume play in Division I FCS this coming fall,” McGlade said.
All 6 A10 teams currently playing football in other FCS conferences—Davidson, Dayton, Duquesne, Fordham, Richmond and Rhode Island—will be joining the A-10 for football, and Massachusetts will be dropping down from FBS to join the A-10 as well, with the administration citing the fact that UMass has fully accepted its new identity as a hockey school.
Perhaps most exciting, all 7 A-10 schools without a football program—George Washington, George Mason, La Salle, St. Bonaventure, Saint Louis, St. Joseph’s, and VCU are starting programs as well, and will compete in Fall 2021.
“I’m super excited about A-10 football coming back,” said Atlantic 10 superfan Rob Lowe. “It’s nice that an anonymous famous actor donated a ton of money to all of these schools to make this happen and I’m excited to see these 14 schools compete for years to come!”
In anticipation of the upcoming A-10 football season, below are our way-too-early A-10 Football power rankings:
- Fordham: Plain and simple, Fordham is a football school. While in basketball, the running joke is “Fordham too low”, “Fordham too high,” is more accurate for football. It should be exciting to see what new football head coach Kyle Neptune will bring to the table. With a team this good, Neptune should be able to turn his basketball coaching pedigree into success on the gridiron.
- UMass: It’s been a rough go in the FBS for the Minutemen, but Walt Bell and company will be well served by dropping down to FCS. If not for Fordham, UMass would be the clear number one in the league, but the Rams are just an unstoppable force.
- La Salle: No team will have a bigger home field advantage than La Salle. The Explorers will be playing their football games in the Gola Arena, and while we aren’t sure how that will work out, we know that opponents are going to hate playing there. We’re interested to see how first year head coach Chad Johnson, formerly known as Chad Ochocinco, does as well.
- Dayton: The Flyers have been a pretty solid football team in the Pioneer, and former Flyer Adam Trautmann is currently in the NFL. Flyers will be dangerous next year. Flyers will also have a huge home field advantage in the form of the nightmare that is Welcome Stadium, and that should help Dayton establish itself as a top 4 team in the A-10.
- Richmond: Richmond has been undefeated during spring football this year, but the A-10 is a dog eat dog conference. They could be the sleeper team next year though.
- SLU: The Billikens have one of the richest football histories in the country, with SLU’s Bradbury Robinson having been the first player to throw a legal forward pass in football. SLU has had 3 undefeated seasons, but its most recent was 1910. However, Edward Jones Dome should be rocking come fall. If Fred Thatch decides to become a 2-sport star, SLU could be a top 3 team in the conference.
- George Mason: We’re not sure what to expect from these Patriots, but head coach Steve Belichick should keep them competitive. Additionally, the Green Machine should make sure Mason home games are can’t miss affairs!
- Davidson: I honestly haven’t watched any Davidson football this year, but 8th seems right.
- George Washington: The Colonials’ will be playing at the Washington Football Team’s stadium out in Maryland, and as a result, they’ll have less of a home field advantage than other teams. Expect a dearth of Mayhem out of Foggy Bottom.
- Rhode Island: You’d think Rhody would be higher up, having an actual football program, but playing spring ball and then in the fall might be an advantage for the newly resurrected teams. Rhody could be a disappointment.
- St. Joseph’s: The Hawk never stops flapping its wings, and St. Joe’s should have an equally determined air attack. However, the lack of running game will be an issue. We’re also concerned that they hired Nick Foles as head coach, even though he will likely be a backup in the NFL still. On the bright side, Ryan Daly is coming back and using his fifth year of eligibility to play linebacker, so Hawks fans are looking forward to that.
- St. Bonaventure: You can run a basketball team with only 5 contributors, but Mark Schmidt’s approach doesn’t seem likely to translate to the gridiron. We’ll see, though, as the Bonnies intend to play 11 two-way players, and figure out who the best kicker is among them as the season goes on.
- Duquesne: Honestly we forgot about them until now. Sorry.
- VCU: While VCU has produced an NFL tight end in Mo Alie-Cox, VCU won’t enjoy the same home field advantage they do on the hardwood. Sources in Richmond are telling us that fan enthusiasm around the team has been extremely low ever since fans realized that VCU Football home games are not more life-changing than even a two-day trip to Europe. We think the lack of enthusiasm will result in an awful season for VCU.
Happy April Fools Day to A-10 fans everywhere!