It's officially October, which means we're into the heart of the football season. With that in mind, it's time for our first edition of the Colonial Athletic Association football power rankings. You'll never guess who's at the top.
1. James Madison
When you tie the all-time conference win streak with a road victory over one of your biggest rivals, you get to start in the top spot. Plus, JMU has a chance to do what no CAA team has ever done — go undefeated in conference play in consecutive seasons.
Yes, Elon. It's time to give the Phoenix their due. Usually an afterthought, this Elon team has already beaten two ranked CAA teams, including a 36-33 road win at Richmond. Before this year, Elon had never beaten Richmond.
The Phoenix also have a road win over Furman that's aging well, as the Paladins have registered big wins in each of the past two weekends. Elon hosts JMU in the season finale in what could potentially be a de facto title game. It's still pretty early, but Elon looks to be a legitimate playoff contender.
3. Stony Brook
Really, you could go with either New Hampshire or Stony Brook here. Both are undefeated in conference play; but one won't be after they play each other in New York on October 14.
4. New Hampshire
Other than a puzzling loss to Sacred Heart, the Wildcats haven't done anything to suggest they won't compete for a 14th consecutive playoff berth.
We didn't learn much about the new-era Cats in a 24-9 win at lowly Towson; upcoming home games against Maine, Elon and Richmond will likely be more revealing.
Plus, there's always that road game at JMU on Oct. 14, which could potentially have some extra visitors.
Elon hadn't posted a shutout since 2009 before they skunked the Great Danes 6-0 on Saturday.
The Blue Hens might feel like they let one get away on Saturday, but the fact that they were even in a competitive game with JMU just five weeks into the Danny Rocco era should be considered a win for the UD faithful. Better days aren't far away.
The Spiders might be ranked, but they've yet to prove anything to anyone so far this season. Richmond needs a flawless month if it wants any sort of realistic chance at a playoff berth. Back-to-back November road games at Villanova and JMU look like probable losses, at least after the first month of games.
Only three teams in all of Division 1 football have a record of 1-2: Florida State, Georgia State and Maine.
10. William & Mary
The Tribe were considered by some to be a darkhorse contender for the CAA title this year. In reality, after a home loss to Stony Brook this past weekend, the Tribe are likely to start their CAA slate 0-5.
The Tigers have a week off to prepare for a game against Richmond on Oct. 14.
12. Rhode Island
The Rams are definitely improved from last year, but they're still in the cellar of the CAA.