No. 12: Vermont Skiing, New Hampshire and Stony Brook Football
The first of these three highlights took place early in March, but when school started up again in the fall, these two programs put themselves on the national stage. After starting off 2-2, including a loss to FCS Minnesota and a historic shootout loss versus Old Dominion (64-61), the Wildcats ripped off six wins to set up a chance to win the Colonial outright versus Towson. While New Hampshire fell in that game, it was still able to earn a bye and a date versus Wofford in the second round of the FBS Championship. The Wildcats would fall 23-7, but it was another spectacular year for Sean McDonnell and his squad. McDonnell went on to be named the FCS Coach of the Year by the New England Football Writers after a season in which he secured his 100th career win. New Hampshire made the NCAA's for the ninth straight year, the longest active streak in the country.
Rounding things out for our first moment is Stony Brook football. The Seawolves put up 126 points in their first two games and then nearly beat FBS Syracuse. Then, Stony Brook ran off seven straight victories and Miguel Maysonet capulted himself right into the thick of the Walter Payton Award race. Maysonet became the Big South's all-time leader in rushing yards as he led his team to the NCAA Championship and a first-round date with Villanova. The Seawolves were able to get by Villanova 20-10, advancing to the second round matchup with Montana St., where they would eventually fall. Maysonet would go on to finish second in the Walter Payton Award voting, picking up 13 first-place votes in the process.
No. 11: America East Ranks Third in the Nation in APR
Academic Progress Rating (APR) is one of the most important numbers in college athletics, as it measures the progress of each scholarship student-athlete at every school. The America East was at the top of the class in 2012, as our member institutions combined for a score of 984, which made the America East third in the nation. Academics, of course, are point of extreme pride for the conference: "The fact that our conference has the third highest overall APR," said Commissioner Amy Huchthausen, "shows that our schools are incredibly good at recruiting great students who value academics as their first priority".
No. 10: Big Non-Conference Wins for Albany Men, Boston U. Women
After narrowly missing a victory over a ranked squad in West Virginia early in the season, Boston U. got another shot at its signature win when St. John's game to town ranked No. 17/15. As Chantell Alford continued her incredible early season play, the Terriers used her 22 points to get past the Red Storm easily, 66-49. It was the second year in a row in which Boston U. has down a Big East squad, after beating Providence to open last year's schedule. The Terriers' upset was the largest such victory by an America East squad since Hartfort beat No. 19/23 Louisville in 2009.
The Bangor Daily News recaps Maine's recent victory over Florida Gulf Coast.
The Hartford Courant takes an in-depth look at Jen Rizzotti and how she keeps her options open.
Hartford honored Sandy Hook Elementary School at a recent women's hoops game.
Binghamton was recently named one of the most efficient schools in the country.
If you missed it, check out the great work America East student-athletes have done in the community.