Central Connecticut State @ Robert Morris
by, 11-06-2010 at 11:22 AM (1301 Views)
MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — When it was announced that the Northeast Conference would receive its first automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Football Championship in 2010, few people probably expected that the pivotal game in the NEC title race would occur here on the Robert Morris University campus.
But on a cold, Saturday afternoon, with snow clouds dangling over the hillsides of this Pittsburgh suburb, Robert Morris can earn a share of the NEC crown and the league's first auto bid to the playoffs with a victory over Central Connecticut State in this battle of conference unbeatens.
CCSU (6-2 overall, 5-0 in the NEC) was expected to be in the chase for an NCAA berth, coming off a league title and a trip to the Gridiron Classic (a 28-23 loss at Pioneer Football League champion Butler) last year.
But Robert Morris (7-1, 6-0) hadn't won an NEC title in 10 years and had won seven games just once during that drought (7-4 in 2006).
Since losing its opening game at Dayton (28-14), the Joe Walton-coached Colonials have won seven straight, including a stunning 30-23 victory over a ranked opponent in Liberty on Sept. 18.
A win today gives RMU the auto bid, while a victory by CCSU would put the Blue Devils in the driver's seat with two league games remaining at Monmouth next weekend and at home against St. Francis in two weeks.