NEC opener features significant members

When Robert Morris and Albany meet on Saturday, it will be the first time both Northeast Conference members open their conference schedule versus each other.

Robert Morris became the first team to claim the conference's automatic FCS playoff bid, winning the NEC title in 2010. Likewise, Albany advanced to the FCS playoffs last season after posting a 7-1 conference record.

The Great Danes (1-0) and Colonials (0-1) have squared off against each other every year since Albany joined the NEC in 1999 and this week's game marks the 14th meeting, with the Great Danes holding a 7-6 all-time advantage. They have combined for 11 NEC championships.

Most likely, this will be the last meeting between both schools for some time because Albany departs for the CAA Football in 2013. Great Danes coach Bob Ford and Robert Morris counterpart Joe Walton are considered the architects of their football programs.

UAlbany is 6-1 in NEC openers played on the road, while Robert Morris is 2-0 at home when playing a league game as its home opener.

Bryant visits St. Francis (Pa.) in the NEC's other conference opener on Saturday. Both teams are 0-1.