The Mid-Jap Athletic Convention (MEAC) is headed again to the FCS playoffs for the primary time since 2016. North Carolina Central will look to assist the convention enhance its report within the postseason, which dates again to when it was the Division I-AA playoffs.
The MEAC enters the 2023 FCS playoffs with an total report of 6-28 since 1981. Solely three MEAC packages — South Carolina State in addition to now former members North Carolina A&T and Florida A&M — have gained playoff video games. Solely a kind of wins (FAMU vs. Troy State in 1999) was past the primary spherical.
Here’s a take a look at the wins for the MEAC within the Division 1-AA/FCS playoffs.
South Carolina State 26, Tennessee State 25
SC State got here into the matchup 9-2 after claiming the MEAC title and the convention’s first automated bid. It confronted a 9-2 Tennessee Stat workforce coached by Joe Gilliam Sr. that really beat Louisville 40-28 earlier within the season. A late landing gave SC State the win, and the MEAC its first ever within the Division I-AA playoffs. It will lose to Idaho State 41-12.
South Carolina State 17, Furman 0
One 12 months after its first foray into the playoffs, Invoice Davis and South Carolina State went again once more, and this time the opponent was a close-by one, if not a well-recognized one. SC State and Furman had by no means confronted one another earlier than, however the two colleges in the identical state met within the playoffs for the primary time. SC State’s protection dominated the sport as Furman solely crossed midfield twice.
SC State went on to face Louisiana Tech. It misplaced 38-3.
It will be 16 years and 6 first spherical exits (together with two in 1997) earlier than the MEAC would win a playoff recreation once more.
Florida A&M 27, Troy State 17
Billy Joe and FAMU rode the Gulf Coast Offense to a share of the MEAC title together with Hampton. Hampton would fall 42-34 to Connecticut within the first spherical. FAMU, in the meantime, would tackle a Troy program that was making its fifth consecutive Division 1-AA playoffs look. After getting blown out 52-37 by Georgia Southern the earlier 12 months, FAMU was prepared, and it took down Troy primarily with the working recreation. It will fall 24-21 to Western Illinois.
North Carolina A&T 24, Tennessee State 10
NC A&T had been to the playoffs twice — 1986 and 1992 — and got here up brief in each. This time A&T needed to tackle a Tennessee State program that had spent a part of the season ranked no. 1 in Division 1-AA. A&T’s Blue Dying protection dealt with Tennessee State
“We had plenty of motivation because the underdogs on this recreation. We all know folks don’t present us a lot respect. That’s why we wish to hold making an attempt to shock folks each week.”
There can be surprising the subsequent week, although, as A&T would fall 41-3 to Youngstown State.
Florida A&M 44, App State 29
Florida A&M 17, Troy State 10
Billy Joe and FAMU’s Gulf Coast Offense had a brand new quarterback on the helm in Quinn Grey, however continued to place up factors and earn playoff bids. First up was Appalachian State, lower than a decade away from changing into the ability in what’s now often called the FCS. FAMU had its approach offensively vs. App. State. It then took care of Troy State for the second 12 months in a row.
All that stood between FAMU and a possible second nationwide championship look (FAMU gained the inaugural title in 1978 as an impartial because it was technically within the SIAC) was Jim Tressel and Youngstown State. FAMU went up 24-13 on a Quinn Grey landing cross early within the fourth quarter, however Youngstown State responded with two touchdowns, together with a 10-yard landing cross with a heartbreaking 44 seconds remaining to finish FAMU’s title run.
That FAMU run was the final time a MEAC workforce tasted a victory within the Division I-AA (now FCS) playoffs. Some would come shut like Joe Taylor’s 2004 and 2006 squads, however most would lose decisively. Of the subsequent 18 postseason video games the MEAC would play from 2000 by means of 2014, 12 of these resulted in losses determined by at the least 14 factors.
Hey Celebration Bowl, bye-bye FCS playoffs autobid
A treatment (relying on who you ask) would arrive after a 2014 season wherein 5 MEAC groups gained a share of the title and Morgan State was despatched to the FCS playoffs. A bowl recreation was rumored following the season and introduced in early 2015. It will be referred to as the Celebration Bowl — a matchup between the champions of the MEAC and SWAC. The sport supplied the highest groups within the two Division I HBCU conferences an opportunity to play on a nationwide stage and a nationwide champion to be declared (by some) with a season-ending win as a substitute of probably a loss.
That got here with a value, nevertheless, because the MEAC gave up its automated bid to ship its champion to face the SWAC champ.
North Carolina Central in 2023 turns into simply the second MEAC workforce to be awarded an at-large bid and the primary since North Carolina A&T was awarded an outbid in 2016, one 12 months after profitable the inaugural Celebration Bowl. NC A&T confronted Richmond and was handed a 39-19 loss on the highway. Defending Celebration Bowl winner and HBCU nationwide champion NCCU will take its 9-2 report on the highway to face — Richmond.