With less than a month to go in the regular season, the stretch run in college football is here. While the big boys in the FBS will get most of the attention, the races in HBCU football may prove to be be just as exciting.
The MEAC in particular promises to give fans butterflies and heartache from here on out. After the dust settled on Saturday, six teams had one conference loss. Bethune-Cookman entered the weekend as the league's only undefeated team but saw their record blemished as the ran into a tough South Carolina State squad, losing 20-14 on the road. Meanwhile, North Carolina A&T celebrated homecoming by putting a 40-21 stomping on FAMU behind a big day from its passing game. A&T's win improved its conference record to 4-1, putting it alone at the topof the standings for now.
As it stands, these six teams now have one conference loss each: A&T, BCU, SC State, Norfolk State, Morgan State and North Carolina Central.
Over in the SWAC, things aren't as tight, but they are far from over.
Alcorn State came into the day leading the SWAC East and made a big statement with a 71-48 win over Prairie View on Saturday. Alcorn's John Gibbs Jr. had a big day, throwing for 362 yards and four touchdowns. Over in Montgomery, Alabama State's chances of catching Prairie View took a big hit as it lost 35-34 to in-state rival Alabama A&M in the Magic City Classic. ASU is now two games behind Alcorn for the SWAC East lead.
SWAC West leader Grambling had the week off, but their arch-rival made sure to keep itself in the race with a 42-28 win over Jackson State in the Boom Box Classic. The halftime show also featured an epic diss from Southern's Human Jukebox.
The CIAA had a little bit of everything in Week Eight. Southern Division leader Winston-Salem State beat Livingstone 34-17 to push its winning-streak to six-straight games. Northern Division leader Virgina Union fell in overtime to Bowie State while rival Virginia State smashed The Lincoln University 63-7.
Things were relatively quiet in the SIAC as both East and West Division leaders Albany State and Tuskegee rolled up easy wins against Clark Atlanta and Kentucky State. Neither can afford any error though, as Fort Valley State and Miles are lurking just one game away from the top.
The season is heading towards a great finish across the divisions, with victory and heartbreak on the horizon, and we'll continue to break it all down for you every week.