The MEAC and SWAC still have several teams contending for titles and a spot in the Celebration Bowl.
When camps open up in late July, players get through the grueling heat thinking of holding up championship hardware in the fall. For two teams this weekend, that will be reality. For a number of others in the FCS, that dream is still alive with a few weeks remaining.
The SIAC and CIAA will play their championship games on Saturday, with the winner returning home with hardware and possibly a ticket to the playoffs. The MEAC and SWAC still have several teams contending for titles and a spot in the Celebration Bowl.
The CIAA Championship Game will take place in Salem, VA for the third year in a row. Both Fayetteville State and Bowie State have made trips to Salem, both of them getting back on the bus and headed home with losses, BSU to Winston-Salem State in 2016 and FSU to Virginia State in 2018. Both teams have high-powered offenses but in different ways.
FSU is a smashmouth, run-first football team led by Stevie Green. The second-team All-CIAA back is a force to be reckoned with. He can grind it out, or hit a home run.
Then there is BSU, who has finished as runner-up twice in the last three years and will be hoping that streak comes to an end. It brings along big gun quarterback Amir Hall, who needs just 91 yards to become the league’s all-time passing yardage leader.
The SIAC title game is a matchup of two teams that didn’t look like contenders the first month of the year, but have gotten better over the second month. Albany State started the season 0-3, but has won all seven games since then. Miles comes in at 4-6 after a frantic month that included late-game heroics in multiple games. It doesn’t have a shot at the playoffs, but it can spoil ASU’s chance of getting there with a win.
The SWAC race is mathematically wide open with a few weeks remaining in the season. Alcorn State is the front-runner in the East, but as long as Alabama State keeps winning, its margin for error is razor thin. ASU will host Jackson State in a game that no one thought would matter a month ago, but suddenly has prominence. As long as Grambling and Southern win on Saturday, the Bayou Classic will once again determine who represents the division in the championship game early next month.
The MEAC has no championship game, however it is already in playoff mode. Three teams (SC State, Howard and Bethune-Cookman) currently have two losses. Two teams, North Carolina A&T and FAMU, both have one loss. FAMU beat A&T, and holds the tiebreaker. A win over Bethune-Cookman next week for FAMU will be a simple result as it will head to the Celebration Bowl in December.
A loss and an A&T win over rival NCCU (which dropped from the race with a double-overtime loss on Thursday) means A&T heads back to Atlanta for the third time in four years. Losses by both FAMU and A&T, plus two Howard wins…Whew. Let’s just get through this week.
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