Updated: November 21, 2015





By Anthony McClean, Editor – in – Chief, Emeritus



NEW HAVEN, CT (BASN) –– A year ago, the road to the postseason was simple for the Aggies of North Carolina A&T. A win against their rivals from North Carolina Central on the final weekend of the regular season would give them the MEAC title and trip to the NCAA playoffs.


However, the Eagles’ 21-14 upset win last season in Durham dropped the Aggies into a five-way tie for the conference crown and forced A&T to miss a playoff berth. Morgan State was awarded the postseason berth.


Fast forward to Saturday. The Aggies (9-1, 7-0 MEAC), who’ve already clinched at least a share of the crown, look to take of some “unfinished business” with the Eagles (7-3, 6-1) who still have an outside chance at another MEAC crown.


So here’s the basics: If A&T defeats NCCU, then the Aggies would be the conference’s outright regular season champion and serve as the MEAC’s representative in the inaugural Celebration Bowl game.


However, should NCCU defeat A&T, coupled with a Bethune-Cookman (8-2, 6-1) loss to Florida A&M, then the Eagles would share the conference title with the Aggies. Most importantly, NCCU would receive the berth to the Celebration Bowl because of its head-to-head victory over A&T.


And yes, there’s a third scenario boys and girls.


In the event of a three-way tie, featuring BCC, A&T, and NCCU, A&T would tentatively be the conference’s representative in the Celebration Bowl and all three teams would be named Co-Champions.


The Eagles would be eliminated from the tiebreaker formula as they did not earn any points in the tiebreaker process with any wins against FBS or FCS teams, compared to BCC’s and A&T’s FCS non-conference victories.
The Wildcats picked up four points in its win over Grambling State (SWAC) and the Aggies earned its four points in the win over Elon (CAA). Remaining tied from their point totals, both teams advanced to the next step of the tiebreaker process that decides the winner based on its Sagarin ranking.


A&T would tentatively seal the Celebration Bowl participation spot based on the latest Sagarin rankings. Entering Saturday’s play, the Aggies are listed at 137th in the Sagarin ranking and BCC at 175th.




The road to the SWAC Championship Game as well as the Celebration Bowl is much less complicated than in the MEAC. In fact, the Tigers of Grambling State and the Braves of Alcorn State are on a collision course.


GSU (8-2, 8-0) has already clinched the West Division and a berth the conference title game on December 5th. They’ll end the regular season next weekend when they meet Southern in the Bayou Classic.


As for the East, the defending league champions (6-3, 5-2) have clinched at least a share of the crown. A win on Saturday against Alabama A&M or in their regular season finale against Jackson State will give them the outright title.




For Bowie State, Virginia Union, and Tuskegee, the blood, sweat, and tears shed from August to November finally gets rewarded as all three schools prepare for a trip to the postseason. For Virginia Union, it marks the first time that the Panthers have made the NCAA Playoffs since 1991, a span of 24 years.


In the Super 1 Region, seventh-seeded VUU (8-2) will face second-seeded Slippery Rock University (10-1) Saturday at Noon at Mihalik-Thompson Stadium in Slippery Rock, Pa. This will be the first meeting the two schools.


Also in the Super 1 Region, the sixth-seeded Bulldogs (9-2) will travel to third seed Assumption College (10-1) in Worcester, Massachusetts for a first round game on Saturday at Noon.


It’s BSU’s first trip to the NCAA’s since 1988. In the Bulldogs’ 1988 appearance at Portland (Ore.) State, the Bulldogs lost to the Vikings by a score of 34-17.


As for the Golden Tigers (8-2), they were awarded the sixth seed in the Super 2 Region / bracket, and will travel to Salisbury (N.C.) to face third seeded Catawba (9-2) at noon on Saturday.


The Golden Tigers qualified for the playoffs for the third straight season, and will be in the same game as they were in last year against West Georgia although they were the three seed in that game.


Anthony McClean can be reached via email at


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