|• The smoke is beginning to clear as the MEAC race enters its 10th week with a plethora of contests that will impact the upper half of the conference standings. North Carolina Central heads to Hampton in a critical match-up while North Carolina A&T State tries to remain in the driver’s seat as they return to the field with a trip to Norfolk State. Howard is looking for its first winning season since 2012 as they battle Florida A&M but more importantly, the Bison need to win in order to remain in the top three.
• The MEAC has picked up two FBS wins this season as North Carolina A&T State defeated Charlotte (Conference USA) on Sept. 16. Howard also picked up an FBS win as they defeated UNLV on Sept. 2. The wins mark the second straight year the conference has earned an FBS win. Last year’s North Carolina A&T State’s win over Kent State on Sept. 10, 2016 was the Aggies’ first FBS win in school history and the first MEAC FBS win since Bethune-Cookman defeated C-USA’s Florida International 14-12 in 2014.
• North Carolina A&T State is the only MEAC team with an undefeated overall record while North Carolina Central, Hampton and Howard are the only other MEAC teams that have a winning record. While its early, the Aggies will possibly have to deal with the pressure of chasing history as only two teams in NCAT history have finished undefeated (1927, 1943).
• With Savannah State’s win over Norfolk State last weekend, no MEAC team will finish winless for the first time since 2015.
• Two teams (North Carolina A&T State, South Carolina State) feature defensive units ranked in the top 10 nationally. NCAT is No. 5 while South Carolina State ranks seventh. The Aggies are equally impressive on the offensive side of the ball as they rank No. 2 in team passing efficiency.
• The MEAC’s ESPN TV schedule will resume at the end of the year with a pair of games (MEAC Wildcard/Florida Classic) on Nov. 18. The wildcard contest will be announced in early November.
• The MEAC is coming off a successful 2016 campaign as the league produced a pair of postseason participants in North Carolina A&T State and North Carolina Central. NCAT earned an at-large bid to the NCAA FCS Playoffs while NCCU was crowned league champion and participated in the second annual Celebration Bowl.
• North Carolina A&T State is the lone MEAC team ranked amongst FCS teams. The Aggies are ranked No. 7 in the FCS Coaches poll and No. 9 in the STATS FCS poll.
• North Carolina Central was picked to defend its MEAC Football Championship as the Eagles topped the league’s annual preseason poll. The Eagles have won three consecutive MEAC Championships as the 2016 title was their first outright title since returning to the MEAC. They have won 18 consecutive MEAC contests which is tied for the third-longest streak in MEAC history behind South Carolina State (21 / 2008-10) and Hampton (19 / 2004-06).
• North Carolina Central University wide receiver Jacen Murphy was selected as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Offensive Player of the Week. Bethune-Cookman defensive lineman Todney Evans was named MEAC Defensive Player of the Week while North Carolina Central’s Nick Leverett received Offensive Lineman of the Week honors. North Carolina Central quarterback Chauncey Caldwell earned Rookie of the Week honors while Florida A&M placekicker Yahia Aly was tabbed as the Specialist of the Week.
• The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced a partnership with the MEAC to reveal the league’s offensive and defensive players of the year as part of the festivities surrounding the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner Dec. 5 at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York City. This marks the second consecutive year the players will be honored in New York.
• At stake once again for the MEAC Champion is a postseason berth to the 3rd annual Celebration Bowl in Atlanta, Ga. on Dec. 16 at the brand new Mercedes Benz Stadium. North Carolina Central fell to Grambling State 10-9 in 2016. The all-time bowl series featuring the MEAC and SWAC Champions stands at 1-1.