Key MEAC games

North Carolina Central (4-3, 3-1) vs. Norfolk State (2-5, 2-2)
NCCU, considered to be a contender for the MEAC title, has only beaten teams with losing records so far. And in a couple of games — against FAMU and Savannah State — winning has been a struggle. For the Eagles, the struggle is real. And the struggle will continue Saturday when the Eagles face Latrell Scott’s Norfolk State squad. It would be easy to pick NCCU in this one, considering that they are in the hunt for a conference title and playing at home, but my gut tells me the Spartans will get the road win. My pick: Norfolk State

South Carolina State (4-3, 3-1) vs. Hampton (4-4, 3-2)
After experiencing some early season hurdles, the South Carolina State Bulldogs appear to be getting their groove back at the right time. SCSU is currently on a two-game winning streak with a huge matchup coming up next Saturday against nationally ranked North Carolina A&T. With all that lies ahead next week, I think it’s safe to conclude that head coach Buddy Pough will have his team focused on Hampton. My pick: South Carolina State

Magic City Classic
Alabama A&M (2-4, 2-2) vs. Alabama State (3-4, 3-3)
The 74th edition of the Magic City Classic will come with all one would associate with long running in-state rivalry games; bragging rights. Both teams are mathematically alive for the SWAC East divisional title, but AAMU truly has a dog in this fight (pun intended). The Bulldogs found new life last week when SWAC East Division leader Alcorn State lost to Grambling in overtime. And with a Nov. 21 contest against the Braves coming up in a few weeks, Alabama A&M has more to play for in this game other than just bragging rights. My pick: Alabama A&M

SWAC Game of the Week
Alcorn State (4-2, 3-1) vs. Southern (4-3, 4-1)

This is a hard one to pick with an awful lot riding for both teams entering Saturday’s contest trying to rebound from losses. The Jaguars, despite losing to Prairie View last Saturday, still control their own destiny in returning to the SWAC Championship game in Houston by simply winning the rest of the games on their schedule. Another loss will seriously put SU’s season in jeopardy. For Alcorn State, a win Saturday puts the Braves one step closer to securing back-to-back SWAC East titles. A loss, however, creates one big mess in the Eastern Division, potentially giving teams like Alabama State and Jackson State new life with something to play for.

Because there is no clear-cut favorite for this game, I’m forced to call it a toss-up. And because I am obligated to pick a winner, it’s time to flip a coin to determine my pick. Heads, for Southern. Tails, for Alcorn State. (Flips coin)…It’s tails.  My pick: Alcorn State

October 31
Lincoln (MO) vs. McKendree
Arkansas-Pine Bluff vs. Prairie View A&M
College of Faith vs. Texas Southern
Central State vs. Tuskegee
Lincoln (PA) vs. Bowie State
Virginia State vs. Chowan
Savannah State vs. Howard
Johnson C. Smith vs. Saint Augustine’s
Elizabeth City State vs. Virginia Union
Fayetteville State vs. Livingstone
Hampton vs. South Carolina State
West Chester vs. Cheyney
Edward Waters vs. Ave Maria
Clark Atlanta vs. Concordia-Selma
Kentucky State vs. Lane
Langston vs. Lyon College
Texas College vs. OK Panhandle State
Austin Peay vs. Tennessee State
Benedict vs. Albany State
Bethune-Cookman vs. Delaware State
Morehouse vs. Fort Valley State
Norfolk State vs. North Carolina Central
West Virginia State vs. UNC-Pembroke
Shaw vs. Winston-Salem State
Alabama A&M vs. Alabama State
Jackson State vs. Miss Valley State
Alcorn State vs. Southern
North Carolina A&T vs. Florida A&M

Last week’s record: 24-2, Overall record: 207-37



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