TOWSON, Md. – Although Towson University finished the regular season with four consecutive victories and earned a share of the Colonial Athletic Association championship, the Tigers were not selected to play in the NCAA FCS playoffs. The NCAA announced its 20-team field on Sunday afternoon.
The Tigers, who finished the season with a 7-4 record and went 6-2 in the CAA, assembled in their locker room to watch the NCAA selection show. They sat in stunned silence as Towson was not selected.
“I can’t think of any time when I’ve been more disappointed,” said Towson Coach Rob Ambrose. “These players deserve better than this and they earned the right to play in the NCAA post-season again.
“These guys are champions,” Ambrose added. “We don’t need some people sitting in an NCAA Board Room to validate us. The goal should be to have the best 20 teams competing for the championship.”
The Tigers, who shared the CAA title with New Hampshire (8-3, 6-2), Villanova (8-3, 6-2) and Richmond (8-3, 6-2), were seeking their second straight appearance in the NCAA FCS playoffs. UNH and Villanova were selected to advance to the post-season while Towson and Richmond were overlooked.
In the final four weeks of the season, Towson posted convincing wins over Villanova (49-35) and New Hampshire (64-35). When Towson handed UNH a decisive 64-35 in the regular season finale on Saturday, it seemed like the Tigers had played their way into the NCAA FCS playoff field.
Over the last two seasons, Towson has posted a 13-3 record in CAA games and has won seven of eight CAA road games.
The Tigers also played the third-toughest schedule in FCS football, a slate that included losses to a pair of NCAA FBS teams that are having very good seasons, Louisiana State and Kent State.
Towson loses 14 seniors from this year’s team, including wide receiver Erron Banks, defensive end Frank Beltre, wide receiver Alex Blake, linebacker Brian Boateng, running back Dominique Booker, defensive end Ben Chroniger , safety Jordan Dangerfield, quarterback Grant Enders, tight end Cory Kirby, defensive tackle Matt Morgan, linebacker Nick Ranko, wide receiver Tom Ryan, wide receiver Gerrard Sheppard and defensive end Romale Tucker.
Beltre and Dangerfield were All-American performers while Enders was a two-year starter at quarterback. He posted an impressive 16-6 record as the Towson signal-caller.
“These players will always be special to this program,” said Ambrose. “They changed the culture around here and brought respect to this football program.”
TIGER TALES: In their season-ending four-game winning streak, the Tigers outscored their opponents by a 188-107 margin … In the last four contests, Towson averaged 525.5 yards of total offense per game while allowing 332.2 yards per game … Towson led the CAA in total defense, allowing 313.2 yards per contest.
In their four-game winning streak, the Tigers had a plus-five turnover ratio … Towson turned the ball over only once in the final four games of the year … Towson’s four-game winning streak is their longest winning streak since 2006 when the Tigers opened the season with four wins in a row.