There are only three more weeks left in the 2022 HBCU FCS regular season and the race to the postseason continues to heat up.
Barring the bottom falling out on both programs, we should see Jackson State and Prairie View A&M in the SWAC Championship Game next month, but anything can happen. North Carolina A&T and Florida A&M look to be in a good position for a playoff push. The MEAC, however, appears to be the quagmire with (IF my math is correct) all six league members still in contention for the championship with at least two games remaining for most teams.
Before previewing this week’s games, my 8-4 record from last week is good but my overall win percentage has dipped under my end-of-the-year goal of 80%.
As I look to turn things around again, here are my top five matchups and predictions for this week.
All times are Eastern Standard.
2022 record: 91-27
Week 8: 8-4
Week 10 Top 5 Games
Howard (3-5, 2-0 MEAC) at North Carolina Central (6-2, 2-1 MEAC), Saturday, 2:00 PM (ESPN3)
After starting the season 1-5 against non-conference opponents, Howard is now atop the conference standings with a 2-0 record in league play while their defense has allowed a league-low 19 points per game against MEAC teams. The Bison will travel to Durham for Central’s Homecoming for the biggest matchup in the conference this week. Both teams are evenly matched on both sides of the ball, but if the Bison want to stay front-runners for the conference championship, they will have to defeat the Eagles for the first time since 1994. Central has won their last seven meetings with Howard by an average of 14.2 points.
Eagles 27, Bison 24
Alcorn State (3-5, 2-3 SWAC) at Prairie View A&M (6-3, 4-1 SWAC), Friday, 7:30 PM (ESPNU)
Coach Bubba McDowell quietly has Prairie View A&M on top of the SWAC’s West Division. Fresh off a huge 58-48 come-from-behind Homecoming victory, the Panthers will welcome Alcorn to Texas for a little Friday Night action. PVAMU averaged 56 points per game in their back-to-back victories while the Braves are suffering with their first three-game losing streak since 2016. Oddly enough, that’s the last time the Panthers beat Alcorn.
Panthers 30, Braves 20
Delaware State (4-4, 1-2 MEAC) at South Carolina State (3-5, 1-1 MEAC), Saturday, 1:30 PM (ESPN3)
Both teams are coming off tough losses, but they still have hopes of winning at least a share of the MEAC crown. The Hornets have dropped five straight to SC State, the last three by an average of less than six points per contest. If Buddy Pough wants his Bulldogs to return to Atlanta in December, they have to improve on both sides of the ball. After last week’s loss to Morgan State, SC State has allowed 40-plus points to four opponents this season. That hasn’t happened since 2000.
Hornets 20, Bulldogs 17
Southern (5-3, 3-2 SWAC) at Florida A&M (6-2, 4-1 SWAC), Saturday, 6:00 PM (ESPN+)
Before becoming conference foes, the FAMU vs. Southern was already an intense rivalry but this will be the first time the Jags are traveling to Bragg Stadium as a SWAC opponent. Winners of six straight, the Rattlers are also looking to extend their home win streak to 15 while keeping their postseason aspirations alive. After having a tough time in Jackson last weekend, the Jags will look to slow down the FAMU offense which compiled 498 yards of total offense against UAPB.
Rattlers 24, Jaguars 17
No. 5 Jackson State (8-0, 5-0 SWAC) at Texas Southern (4-4, 3-2 SWAC), Saturday, 7:00 PM (ESPN+)
Last week, TSU held an opponent’s offense scoreless for the second time this season. I doubt that happens to the sixth-best scoring offense in the nation. Texas Southern will also look to put up points against the nation’s best scoring defense, which has held five teams this season to single digits, the most since they did it to six opponents in 1989.
Jackson State 42, Texas Southern 12
Intraconference HBCU Game
Norfolk State (1-7) at North Carolina A&T (5-3), Saturday, Noon (ESPN+)
Aggies 38, Spartans 17
No. 9 William & Mary (7-1, 4-1 CAA) at Hampton (4-4, 1-4 CAA), Saturday, 1:00 PM (FloSports)
Tribe 37, Pirates 20
Morgan State (3-5) at Stony Brook (1-7), Saturday, 1:00 PM (FloSports)
Bears 20, Seawolves 14
No. 20 Southeast Missouri State (6-2, 2-0 OVC) at Tennessee State (3-5, 2-1 OVC), Saturday, 6:00 PM (ESPN3)
Redhawks 30, Tigers 17
Alabama A&M (3-5, 3-2 SWAC) at Mississippi Valley State (0-8, 0-5 SWAC), Thursday, 7:30 PM (ESPNU)
Bulldogs 35, Delta Devils 10
Arkansas-Pine Bluff (2-6, 0-5 SWAC) at Grambling State (2-6, 1-4 SWAC), Saturday, 3:00 PM (ESPN+)
Grambling State’s Homecoming
Tigers 24, Golden Lions 21
Alabama State (5-3, 3-2 SWAC) at Bethune-Cookman (2-6, 2-3 SWAC), Saturday, 4:00 PM (HBCU GO)
Bethune Cookman’s Homecoming
Hornets 35, Wildcats 31