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MEAC SATURDAY FOOTBALL WEEKENDER
Bethune-Cookman clinches MEAC title; Rattlers edge NCCU under new coach; Delaware State, Norfolk, A&T all win Saturday
 

Alvin Hollins Jr.

By ALVIN HOLLINS JR.
Rockstat7376@aol.com

NOVEMBER 10 – The Bethune-Cookman University Wildcats won their second Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title in three years Saturday, with a crushing road victory at Savannah State, dashing the remaining co-championship hopes of several teams.

The Wildcats (7-0, 8-2) locked up the title with a 49-7 win at Savannah State (0-7, 1-9), leaving them just one game shy of a perfect conference record. B-CU has also punched its’ ticket to the NCAA Division FCS playoffs.

Meanwhile, Florida A&M (4-3, 4-6) scored late to edge visiting North Carolina Central (5-2, 6-4), 22-21, winning their first game under interim head coach Earl “Hitman” Holmes at Homecoming in Bragg Stadium.

In other conference action Saturday, Delaware State (5-2, 6-4) pulled into a three-way tie for second with NCCU and Howard University, with a 35-27 win over visiting Hampton (2-5, 2-7) at Dover, Delaware; North Carolina A&T (4-3, 6-4) rallied past visiting South Carolina State (3-4, 4-6), 17-7 at Greensboro, N.C.; Norfolk State (2-6, 4-7) finished their disappointing season after winning the 2011 MEAC title, with a 30-0 whitewash of visiting Morgan State (2-5, 3-7), at Norfolk, Va.

In the lone non-conference affair Saturday, Howard University (5-2, 6-4) was bashed by nationally-ranked Georgia Southern (8-2), 69-26 at Statesboro, Ga.

The New Pecking Order…
Bethune-Cookman (7-0) has locked up the conference title and the automatic NCAA Division I FCS playoff bid…. The race will now be for second as North Carolina Central (5-2), Howard (5-2), and Delaware State (5-2) will go down to next weekend to determine which two of them will finish behind B-CU…

Next Weekend’s Schedule
The final Saturday of the regular season is pretty much Rivalry Weekend, highlighted by Bethune-Cookman against Florida A&M in the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Florida Classic in Orlando, to be nationally televised on ESPN Classic at 2:30 p.m.

The remainder of the schedule features Hampton at Morgan State (1:00); Delaware State at Howard (1:00); Savannah State at South Carolina State (1:30); and North Carolina A&T at North Carolina Central (2:00).

MEAC Random Shots
@ Bethune-Cookman (7-0) hopes to complete a perfect conference season next week against rival FAMU, which spoiled their hopes of a perfect season in 2010….

@ Two of three teams will finish second behind Bethune-Cookman: Delaware State, Howard and North Carolina Central (5-2)… DelState visits Howard, while NCCU hosts Triad rival North Carolina A&T in the Aggie-Eagle Classic.

@ Wins by Delaware State and North Carolina A&T Saturday clinched winning seasons for both squads, allowing them to join Howard and North Carolina Central in the club of teams who finished under .500 overall a year ago.

@ Bethune-Cookman, along with the quartet of DSU, Howard, A&T and NCCU officially flipped the script in the MEAC, as all five teams are led by coaches in their second or third years, while veteran-led programs like FAMU, Hampton, South Carolina State, Morgan State and Norfolk State suffered a reversal of fortune in 2012.

@ Florida A&M (4-3, 4-6) won its’ first game under interim head coach Earl Holmes, one of the school’s all-time great linebackers, and formerly the defensive coordinator… Holmes was tabbed to replace the 30-year head coaching veteran Joe Taylor on Wednesday of this week, after Taylor was placed on administrative leave… Taylor will still retire following the season with 233 career victories…

MEAC FOOTBALL STANDINGS
Thru Saturday, November 10, 2012

School ……………………….. Conference / Overall
Bethune-Cookman ………………… 7-0 1.000 / 8-2 .800
Delaware State ………..……………. 5-2 .714 / 6-4 .600
Howard University …….…………… 5-2 .714 / 6-4 .600
North Carolina Central …….……. 5-2 .714 / 6-4 .600
^North Carolina A&T ………..…… 4-3 .571 / 6-4 .600
Florida A&M ………..………………… 4-3 .571 / 4-6 .400
South Carolina State .…….……… 3-4 .428 / 4-6 .400
Morgan State ………………………… 2-5 .285 / 3-7 .300
^Hampton …………………………….. 2-5 .285 / 2-7 .222
Norfolk State ………………………… 2-6 .250 / 4-7 .363
Savannah State ………..…………… 0-7 .000 / 1-9 .100
^-Ineligible for 2012 title

Saturday’s Scoreboard
*Delaware State 35, Hampton 27
*Norfolk State 30, Morgan State 0
*North Carolina A&T 17, South Carolina State 7
#Georgia Southern 69, Howard 26
*Florida A&M 22, North Carolina Central 21
*Bethune-Cookman 49, Savannah State 7
(*)-Conference Games

Next Week’s Schedule
*Hampton at Morgan State, 1:00
*Delaware State at Howard, 1:00
*Savannah State at South Carolina State, 1:30
*North Carolina A&T at North Carolina Central, 2:00
*Bethune-Cookman vs. Florida A&M (Orlando), 2:30 (ESPN Classic)
(*)-Conference Games

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