As the 150th season of college football starts to dwindle, the race for postseason positioning is now taking shape. The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) is once again reminding the college football world that every team in this conference must be taken seriously.
The Florida A&M University Rattlers (FAMU) are now the only remaining undefeated team in the MEAC, with Bethune-Cookman losing their first conference matchup this weekend. The Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, North Carolina A&T Aggies, and South Carolina State Bulldogs all trail the Rattlers by one game in the MEAC standings through ten weeks of football.
This week FAMU earned their first national ranking in nearly a decade. The team came into the week as the 20th ranked team in the FCS.
The Rattlers (7-1, 5-0 MEAC) defended that national ranking on the road this week against the seventh place Morgan State Bears (1-7, 1-4 MEAC). The Rattlers would be without all-time passing leader and starting quarterback Ryan Stanley in this game. In Stanley’s absence, redshirt freshman Rasean McKay was named the starter and led the Rattlers to a 24-12 victory over the Bears. Morgan State did strike first taking the early 7-0 lead in this game as DeAndre Harris found E’Munn Parker for a 27-yard passing touchdown with 9:21 left in the first quarter. That would be the only touchdown Morgan State would score in the game as the Rattlers added 17 points in the second quarter. McKay finished the game with 246 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception as he led the Rattlers to their seventh straight win this season.
The Bethune-Cookman Wildcats were the only other undefeated team in the MEAC heading into their matchup against the South Carolina State Bulldogs. The Wildcats would leave this game with a blemish on their record as SCSU won 27-19. The Bulldogs offense had their way with the Wildcats, as the offense amassed 437 total yards on the day with 108 of those yards coming from junior running back LaBron Morris. Since the Bulldogs won this game, there’s now a three way tie between SC-State, Bethune-Cookman, and NCAT behind FAMU for the MEAC crown.
North Carolina A&T is another team fighting for the top spot in the MEAC. The Aggies needed to bounce back after the Rattlers handed them their first loss in the MEAC a week ago. North Carolina faced the Howard Bison who came into the game riding a three game losing streak. The Aggies dismantled the Bison beating them easily by a score 64-6. Freshman linebacker Jacob Roberts played a major role for the Aggies defense in this game. Roberts recorded 15 tackles with three sacks in the blowout victory for the Aggies. The win brought the Aggies to a 3-1 record in the MEAC, while the Bison dropped to a dismal 1-3 in conference play.
As the race for the MEAC title starts to come to a conclusion, the frontrunners of the conference will eventually have to face-off in the coming weeks giving us an answer to which team will be in the Celebration Bowl.
Although FAMU is not postseason eligible this season they can still play a major role in the MEAC race. The Rattlers still have games against Delaware State, Howard, and Bethune-Cookman.
Football is not the only fall sport inching towards a conclusion this fall as the MEAC volleyball season is well underway. The Howard Bison’s women’s volleyball team (9-0 MEAC) is currently leading the Northern division of the MEAC with a three game lead over Coppin State (6-3 MEAC).
The Southern division has been led by North Carolina A&T (9-1 MEAC) for most of the season. The Aggies currently have a four-game lead over the FAMU Rattlers and North Carolina Central Eagles who each have a 5-5 MEAC record.
As the season starts to come to a conclusion, keep an eye out for the MEAC races and how they’ll unfold as this will be an exciting end to the season for both football and volleyball teams.