BALTIMORE - A year after being the preseason pick to win the Colonial Athletic Association football title, Villanova enters this season as the No. 2 team.
New Hampshire, a semifinalist in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs last season, tops the CAA preseason poll with 15 first of the 24 first place votes.
Villanova received two first place votes in earning the second spot. The voting was conducted by the CAA head coaches and sports information directors.
In addition, Villanova junior quarterback John Robertson has been named the CAA Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. William & Mary defensive lineman Mike Reilly was named the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
The preseason poll and players of the year were announced during CAA Football Media Day at M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens.
Villanova went 6-5 overall and 5-3 in the CAA last season but the Wildcats owned a win over eventual FCS finalist Towson.
“Preseason No. 2 is great, we just have to make it happen,” said Villanova receiver Poppy Livers, who had 53 receptions for 580 yards and three touchdowns last season.
Robertson, who said he is 100 percent recovered from off-season labrum surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder, was humbled in being named the conference’s preseason offensive player of the year.
“I think it’s a great honor and I am hoping to live up to the expectations,” Robertson said.
Last season, Robertson threw for 1,957 yards and 13 touchdowns and rushed for 1,405 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Here is the full CAA preseason poll:
1. New Hampshire
4. William & Mary
8. James Madison
9. Stony Brook
11. Rhode Island