MEAC round-up: Football edition

As students return to school, college football fans everywhere are pumped for the start of a new athletic season. Heading into this year there is a lot of hype surrounding Mid-Eastern Athletic football and whether or not there will be a new team on top of the hill.

Before the start of the 2019 football season, North Carolina A&T University was slated to defend their title as the MEAC champions and remain the number one team in the conference. 

The Aggies were ranked with 12 first-place votes. Bethune-Cookman University ranked second with state rivals Florida A&M University coming in at third.

Fast Forward a few weeks and now we are starting to see the conference take shape. Even though there is a lot of seasons left, it seems maybe those predictions won’t be coming into fruition. 

As is stands now heading into week three, the BCU Wildcats are leading the conference after their win over Jackson State University in the MEAC vs SWAC challenge. BCU despite being held scoreless in the first half, came back to win 35-16 largely in part to the Wildcats strong defensive effort through all 60 minutes.

 However, we can’t forget that it is just week three. NCAT is still second in the conference in a 1-1 record. Also, it is hard to gauge FAMU’s potential this year as their only action came in a 0-62 defeat against Division I opponent the University of Central Florida. 

Unfortunately, the Rattlers due to their Academic Progress Rate sanctions are ineligible for the conference championship and post-season play.

 At the end of the day HBCU players, athletes and coaches alike all love to see success from their peers within the conference, and the MEAC undoubtedly produces players ready for the next level. 

This past week MEAC Sports published an article highlighting the various players in the NFL that have shined in the first week of NFL action. Second-year running back Tarik Cohen of the Chicago Bears was among the players showcased as he had eight catches for 49 yards in their 10-3 loss to the Packers. 

Cohen is a former star running back at NCAT. 

The star from the MEAC however, was reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Darius Leonard as he had a pass defended and notched seven tackles in the Indianapolis Colts 30-24 loss to the San Diego Chargers.


Defensive Rookie of the Year Darius Leonard
Photo courtesy Brian Spurlock of USA TODAY Sports

Every so often it is nice to see the accomplishments of professionals who came through the MEAC. This conference has continually been able to produce athletes who have gone on to be respected athletes at the next level. 

However, the highlight for MEAC fans won’t be the NFL, instead, it will be the intense race to see who comes out on top of the conference and see if anyone can dethrone the Aggie powerhouse.