The Celebration Bowl picture became crystal clear after Saturday's action — Grambling State's win to stay perfect in SWAC play and Hampton's loss to leave North Carolina A&T the lone unbeaten team in the MEAC leave two teams alone atop the conference standings. But can they stay there?
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The SWAC is in Grambling's hands
Grambling State, as expected, kept their SWAC record clean with a runaway 50-24 victory over winless Texas Southern. Grambling moved to 4-0 in conference play and 6-1 overall, the lone loss coming on the road at FBS Tulane.
Texas Southern was able to cause Grambling some struggles in the running game, limiting Grambling early, but Devante Kincade sliced and diced the Texas Southern defense to the tune of 347 yards and three scores on 21-of-34 completions.
Grambling continues to be in the driver's seat in the SWAC, and will likely get its biggest test in the final SWAC championship game, which right now looks like it will be against Alcorn State, who had the week off.
MEAC NC A&T's to lose
A quick glance at the conference standings in the MEAC shows there's a lot left to play for, but even though North Carolina A&T was off this week, what happened around them means that at 5-0, the Aggies control their destiny with a matchup against NC Central looming at the end of the season.
This weekend saw NC Central cruise past Delaware State to improve to 4-1 in MEAC play, Howard defeat South Carolina State 28-20 to also improve to 4-1 in conference action, and Hampton stumble against Bethune-Cookman for its first MEAC loss (they're also 4-1 in conference play).
FCS Playoffs, anyone?
The Celebration Bowl isn't the only endgame here.
Could a Hampton, a Howard or an NC Central team make the FCS Playoffs if it's North Carolina A&T in the Celebration Bowl? It's certainly not out of the discussion. Last year NC A&T was a 9-2 team in the FCS Playoffs. The precedent is there.
Celebration Bowl Prediction:
Right now Grambling and NC A&T each control their own destiny. Win and you're in.