MEAC FOOTBALL WEEKEND FINAL
Carolina Boys send league into a tizzy, as A&T crushes Howard,
while Central rallies past Morgan to change the leaderboard

Howard QB Greg McGhee agaist NCA&T (Courtesy Photo/Howard Sports)

By ALVIN HOLLINS JR.
Rockstat7376@aol.com

OCTOBER 13 – The second weekend of October kept the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference football title chase a real head-scratcher as up-and-rising programs continued their surge, leaving everyone guessing as to who may be nailing the championship pennant to their wall come November.

Saturday afternoon, former conference co-leader Howard University (3-1, 4-2) was bushwhacked by North Carolina A&T (1-2, 3-3), 38-10 in Greensboro; North Carolina Central (3-0, 4-2) rallied past Morgan State (2-1, 3-3), 24-20 in Baltimore; Delaware State (2-1, 3-3) stung slumping South Carolina State (1-3, 2-5), 31-10 at Dover; Hampton (1-2, 1-4) won its’ first victory of season, 28-14 over cross bay rival Norfolk State (0-4, 2-5) at Hampton, Va.

FAMU (3-1, 3-4) crushed winless Savannah State (0-4, 0-6), 44-3 in Saturday’s late game, while league co-leader Bethune-Cookman (3-0, 4-2) had Saturday off (bye).

Shuffling The Deck in the MEAC:
Bethune-Cookman and North Carolina Central (3-0) are tied for the league lead after Saturday afternoon’s action; Howard and Florida A&M (3-1) are tied for third, with Delaware State and Morgan State (2-1) tied for fifth place.

Slip-sliding Away:
Heading the pack of teams out of the money in this year’s conference chase are ineligible Hampton and North Carolina A&T (1-2), followed by South Carolina State (1-3), Norfolk State and Savannah State (0-4).

Shifting Sands in the MEAC??:
@ Saturday’s results left Bethune-Cookman (2002, 2010) and surging Delaware State (2007) as the lone title contenders with recent playoff history still in the hunt for the 2012 championship, perhaps illustrating that the league’s old guard may be on the verge of relinquishing their places to newcomers and upstarts.

@ Bethune-Cookman’s playoff partner from 2010, South Carolina State, coached by veteran Buddy Pough, fell further off the pace at 1-3, after a 31-10 loss at Delaware State Saturday.

The Bulldogs, winners of a league-best 13 championships, are set to miss the playoffs for the second straight year, after making three consecutive trips between 2008 and 2010.

@ Last year’s champion, Norfolk State (0-4), coached by longtime mentor Pete Adrian, has lost four straight games, all conference bouts including Saturday’s 28-14 setback at the hands of previously winless Hampton.

@ Carrying the tattered banner of the “old guard” is Florida A&M (3-1), led by the dean of the MEAC coaches, Joe Taylor (17 MEAC seasons combined at Hampton (12 of 16) and FAMU (5)).

The Rattlers are still in the hunt for the 2012 title, but other than sharing the 2010 title with B-CU and SCSU under Taylor, the Rattlers overall have not won an outright crown since capturing back-to-back pennants in 2000 and 2001.

@ Meanwhile Hampton (2006) and North Carolina A&T (2003) were declared ineligible for postseason play due to NCAA sanctions over academic performance.

Next Weekend’s Schedule:
Next week’s schedule begins Thursday, October 18, as Hampton travels to North Carolina Central for a nationally-televised bout live on ESPNU at 7:30 p.m., to kick off a round of elimination games.

Saturday’s lineup completes the third full weekend of conference games, and all eyes will be on Tallahassee, where Florida A&M will host South Carolina State (ESPNU taped delay/10:30 p.m. ET), as well as Washington, D.C., where Morgan State will visit Howard University in a game critical to both squads’ title hopes; North Carolina A&T visits Delaware State; Norfolk State is at Bethune-Cookman; while Savannah State (0-4, 0-6) hosts Edward Waters College, in a non-conference affair.

MEAC FOOTBALL STANDINGS
Thru Saturday, October 13, 2012

School …………………….. Conference / Overall
Bethune-Cookman ………………… 3-0 1.000 / 4-2 .667
North Carolina Central …………. 3-0 1.000 / 4-2 .667
Howard University ………………… 3-1 .750 / 4-2 .667
Florida A&M ……………..…………… 3-1 .750 / 3-4 .428
Delaware State …………….…..…. 2-1 .667 / 3-3 .500
Morgan State …….……….………… 2-1 .667 / 3-3 .500
^North Carolina A&T ……..……… 1-2 .333 / 3-3 .500
^Hampton …………………………….. 1-2 .333 / 1-4 .200
South Carolina State ……………… 1-3 .250 / 2-5 .285
Norfolk State …………….…………… 0-4 .000 / 2-5 .285
Savannah State ………..…………… 0-4 .000 / 0-6 .000
^-Ineligible for 2012 title

Games of October 13
*Hampton 28, Norfolk State 14
*North Carolina Central 24, Morgan State 20
*North Carolina A&T 38, Howard 10
*Delaware State 31, South Carolina State 10
*Florida A&M 44, Savannah State 3
BYE: Bethune-Cookman (3-0, 4-2)
(*)-Conference Games

Next Week’s Schedule
Game of October 18

*Hampton at North Carolina Central, 7:30 (ESPNU)
(*)-Conference Games

Games of October 20
*Morgan State at Howard, 1:00
*North Carolina A&T at Delaware State, 1:30
*Edward Waters at Savannah State, 2:00
*Norfolk State at Bethune-Cookman, 4:00
*South Carolina State at Florida A&M, 6:00 (ESPNU-10:30 Delay)
(*)-Conference Games

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