Wednesday afternoon, a record crowd attended CAA football’s annual Media Day, held at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Player and coach representatives from each school held court, including from the CAA’s two newest members, Stony Brook and Albany.
Meanwhile, the Towson Tigers are coming into the 2013 football season with high expectations following a disappointing finish last year in which they were snubbed on Selection Sunday, barring them from a playoff berth. They ended up sharing the conference title with three other schools (New Hampshire, Richmond, Villanova). The Tigers will use that disappointing ending as motivation for the upcoming season.
“It leaves a bitter taste in our mouths, but we can’t dwell on the past,” said Tigers LB Monte Gaddis, certain that last year will fuel the fire for this year.
The Tigers, who were picked to finish second in the CAA’s pre-season polls behind only Villanova, will open the season on August 29th in a non-conference matchup against the University of Connecticut. Towson football will be looking for their third consecutive conference title, but their mindset seems to focused on much more than just the CAA.
“Anything short of a national title would be considered a disappointment. Last year, even sharing the title with the other teams was a disappointment. Our vision is on trying to get a national title, and we’ll do that by taking it one game at a time,” said Tigers OT Eric Pike, who was selected to the All-CAA pre-season team along with six of his teammates.
Tigers head coach Rob Ambrose, now in his fifth year at the school, echoes the sentiments of his players.
“We train to make sure that at the end of the season, the words excellence, elite, and Towson football run hand in hand. Not just in our locker room and in our conference, but nationally. And when we move on and are ready for post-season play, there won’t be any doubt in anyone’s mind that the black and gold team from Baltimore should be making a run at the national title,” he said.
Ambrose has engrained the idea of “leave no doubt” in his players so hard that it has become a popular hashtag in the locker room. The Tigers were making their presence known all throughout Media Day, making all who were present aware that they are here, and here to stay.