Elimination Week for BCU/Other MEAC Playoff Hopefuls

meacfbA quick glance at the top of the MEAC standings reveals a pile-up of five (5) teams currently tied for 1st place in the league. The race for the crown and the conference’s automatic bid to the FCS playoffs will become a bit clearer after this weekend’s contests featuring 4 of the 5 teams tied for first place in head-to-head matchups against the other.

Elimination week begins when 18th ranked Bethune-Cookman (4-1, 7-2) travel to Norfolk, Virginia to take on Norfolk State (4-1, 4-5) for a 7:30, Thursday night ESPNU contest. The Wildcats will look to avenge last year’s 24-27 loss to the Spartans and keep pace atop the league standings.

On Saturday, North Carolina A&T hosts Morgan State (both 4-1 in conference) in Greensboro in a 1:00 p.m. kickoff.

Finally, Florida A&M is out of championship contention but will look to play spoiler against front-running South Carolina State in Tallahassee. The Bulldogs have the inside track to the league’s automatic bid as they currently own the head-to-head tiebreaker over co-leaders North Carolina A&T and Bethune-Cookman and will get their shot at Morgan State and Norfolk State to end the season. If South Carolina State drops a contest and BCU wins out, the Wildcats will be awarded the conference’s automatic bid based upon the MEAC’s tiebreaker system (detailed below).

BCU vs UCF-400The Sports Network is also projecting BCU will make the field of 24 as an at-large selectee if they can win out. Another loss by Bethune will all but spoil their bid to secure their 4th conference crown and/or playoff berth within the past 5 years.

Sports Network PLAYOFF FIELD projection as of November 2, 2014:

South Dakota State/Montana State winner at No. 1 seed North Dakota State

Eastern Kentucky/Illinois State winner at No. 8 seed Chattanooga

Cal Poly/McNeese State winner at No. 5 seed Eastern Washington

Jacksonville/South Carolina State winner at No. 4 seed Coastal Carolina

Bethune-Cookman/Liberty winner at No. 3 seed Jacksonville State

Bryant/Richmond winner at No. 6 seed Villanova

Sam Houston State/Montana winner at No. 7 seed Southeastern Louisiana

Fordham/Youngstown State winner at No. 2 seed New Hampshire

On the at-large bubble: Idaho State, Indiana State, James Madison, North Carolina A&T, Northern Arizona

MEAC tiebreaker criteria:

Two-Team or Multiple-Team Tie – If the tied teams played each other, head-to-head competition will be used to determine the representative. For multiple ties, head-to-head record vs. all teams tied. If a tie still exists then the following shall be used:

1) Points

A) Count six (6) points for a win against a Division I-A team;

B) Count four (4) points for a non-conference Division I-AA win;

C) Count one (1) point for a win against a Division II team, OR, subtract a point for a loss against a Division II team;

The team with the highest point total shall be the Automatic Qualifier for the NCAA Playoffs or the specified Bowl game, whichever is applicable.

2) Coin Toss

Bethune-Cookman (4-1 , 7-2) * Sagarin 51.81 @ 11-8 at Norfolk State; 11-13 Thurs at Hampton; 11-22 FAMU (Orlando)… POINTS (11): Wins over FIU, Grambling and Florida Tech.

South Carolina State (4– 1, 6- 3) * Sagarin 50.64 @ 11-1 vs. Savannah State; 11-8 at FAMU; 11-15 at Morgan State; 11-22 vs. Norfolk State… POINTS: (5): Wins over Furman, Benedict.

North Carolina A&T (4 –1, 7 – 2) * Sagarin 47.68 @ 11-8 vs. Morgan State; 11-15 at Savannah State; 11-22 at NCCU…. POINTS (9): Wins over Alabama A&M, Elon and Chowan

Morgan State .(4 – 1, 5 – 4 ) * Sagarin 38.86 @ 11-8 at North Carolina A&T; 11-15 vs. SCSU; 11-22 vs Delaware State…. POINTS (1): Win over Bowie State

Norfolk State (4-1, 4– 5) * Sagarin 34.05 @ 11-6 vs. B-CU (Thurs.); 11-15 vs. NCCU; 11-22 at SCSU…. POINTS (0)


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