Arkansas-Pine Bluff has clinched the SWAC’s Western Division and is returning to the SWAC Championship Game for the first time since 2006. It will be the second appearance for the Golden Lions in the history of the championship game. Meanwhile, in the Eastern Division, there is a three-team race between Alabama A&M, Alabama State and Jackson State.
If Alabama A&M beats Jackson State on Saturday and Alabama State loses to Southern, the Bulldogs will clinch their sixth divisional title and return to the championship game. A loss eliminates A&M from contention.
If Alabama State beats Southern and Jackson State loses to Alabama A&M or Alcorn State, the Hornets will have a shot in the championship for a second time in three years and fifth time overall. A loss on Saturday to Southern will eliminate ASU.
If Jackson State defeats Alabama A&M on Saturday, and Alabama State loses to Southern, JSU will make their fourth trip to the championship and first since 2009. JSU can also clinch the title by beating both A&M and Alcorn State. If Alabama State beats Southern, and JSU beats A&M, the Tigers will have to beat Alcorn to claim the East. A loss on Saturday to A&M will cage the Tigers’ chances. JSU competed in the first championship game in 1999. Southern defeated JSU 31-30 in front of over 47,000 fans at Legion Field.
Several SWAC teams remain ranked in the NCAA FCS statistics. Two teams are ranked in the top 50 in Total Offense. Prairie View is ranked 29th and Jackson State is ranked 36th. In addition, Mississippi Valley State (3rd), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (8th), Alabama A&M (9th) and Jackson State (18th) are ranked in the top 25 in total defense. UAPB (7th), AAMU (10th) and ASU (16th) are also ranked in the top 20 in scoring defense respectively.
SWAC PLAYERS RANKED IN NCAA
RUSHING (TOP 50)
Kaderius Lacey (AAMU) 39th – 90.7 YPG
PASSING YARDS (TOP 50)
Dray Joseph (SU) 46th – 1,878 yards
PASSING YARDS/GAME (TOP 50)
Dray Joseph (SU) 41st – 208.7 yards
RECEIVING YARDS (TOP 50)
Rico Richardson (JSU) 11th – 927 yards
RECEIVING YARDS/GAME (TOP 50)
Rico Richardson (JSU) 13th – 103 YPG
RECEPTIONS/GAME (TOP 50)
Spencer Nelson (PVAM) 30th (T) – 5.78 RPG
Rico Richardson (JSU) 42nd (T) – 5.56 RPG
INTERCEPTIONS (TOP 20)
Qua Cox (JSU) 14th (T) – 4 INT
Kejuan Riley (ALST) 41st (T) – 3 INT
Carlos Hollis (MVSU) 41st (T) – 3 INT