As of today, there are eight teams – four in the MEAC and four in the SWAC – that still have an opportunity to play for the Black College Football National Championship at the Cricket Celebration Bowl this December. One of those teams, Florida A&M, has already won the SWAC East and will host the eventual winner of the SWAC West for the opportunity to play the MEAC champion in Atlanta.
Below, I’ve compiled a list of the teams that are still in title contention, their upcoming opponents, and their remaining strength of schedule.
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North Carolina Central (8-1, 3-0 MEAC)
Remaining Games: at Howard (11/11), vs. Delaware State (11/18)
Opponents win pct: 27.8%
With their lone loss coming against UCLA, the Eagles are arguably the best team in HBCU FCS Football. But the biggest matchup of the season comes this Saturday, as they’ll travel to D.C. to face last year’s co-champion Howard.
NCCU wins the MEAC, if: They defeat Howard, or NCCU loses to Howard, defeats Delaware State, and SCSU loses one game.
Howard (4-5, 2-1)
Remaining Games: vs. North Carolina Central (11/11), vs. Morgan State (11/18)
Opponents win pct: 64.7%
After Saturday’s loss, Howard is 2-4 on the road. The good news is their remaining two games are in Greene Stadium. The bad news is that their upcoming opponents are the MEAC’s top team and the league’s best defense.
Howard wins the MEAC, if: They win out and SCSU loses to Morgan State or Norfolk State.
South Carolina State (4-5, 2-1)
Remaining Games: vs. Morgan State (11/11), at Norfolk State (11/18)
Opponents win pct: 29.4%
Head Coach Buddy Pough has shown that he is not ready to walk off into the sunset without a fight. Winners of four of their last six, the Bulldog will need to win out and get some help if they want to become the first FCS HBCU to start (MEAC/SWAC Challenge) and finish their season in Atlanta.
SCSU wins the MEAC, if: They win out and NCCU loses to Howard and Delaware State.
Morgan State (3-5, 2-1)
Remaining Games: at South Carolina State (11/11), at Howard (11/18)
Opponents win pct: 44.4%
Can head coach Damon Wilson and that stingy Bears defense shock the world and win their first MEAC Title in nine years? To do so, they’ll have to win back-to-back road games and get a little help along the way.
Morgan State wins the MEAC, if: They win out and NCCU loses to Howard and Delaware State
Alcorn State (6-3, 5-1 SWAC)
Remaining Games: at Texas Southern (11/12), at Jackson State (11/18)
Opponents win pct: 47.4%
Head coach Fred McNair is poised to lead the Braves to their seventh SWAC Championship Game, but this would be their first appearance as the West Division champion. Undefeated against conference opponents on the road, Alcorn will finish out their season traveling to Houston and Jackson for The Soul Bowl.
Alcorn wins the SWAC West, if: They win out, or Southern and Prairie View lose one game.
Southern (5-4, 4-2)
Remaining Games: vs. Prairie View A&M (11/11), vs. Grambling State (11/25)
Opponents win pct: 44.4%
Eric Dooley has his troops in contention to win back-to-back SWAC West Division Titles for the second time in six seasons. Looking to rebound a week after having their three-game win streak snapped by Alcorn, Southern’s next two opponents are a combined 2-8 against the Jags since 2018.
Southern wins the SWAC West, if: They win out, and Alcorn loses both games.
Prairie View A&M (4-5, 4-2)
Remaining Games: at Southern (11/11), vs. Alabama State (11/18)
Opponents win pct: 58.8%
Surprise! The Panthers were predicted to finish fifth in the West this year, but they are currently one game out of first place with two weeks remaining in the season. If Prairie View wants to earn a second appearance in the SWAC Title Game in three years, they will have to overcome the hardest remaining schedule of the three potential contenders. The problem is, the Panthers haven’t won back-to-back games this season.
Prairie View wins the SWAC West, if: They win out, and Alcorn loses one game.