At least for the 2018 football season, the MEAC was considered the best conference among HBCUs and top-10 in the country.
According a STATS FCS ranking, the MEAC was 10th among the 14 conferences/independent leagues.
A big reason for the overall success of the league was the play of reigning three-time conference champion North Carolina A&T, which went 10-2 and won the Celebration Bowl for the third time in the last four seasons.
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference – North Carolina A&T beat Jacksonville State as well as an FBS opponent (East Carolina) for the third straight season before it repeated as champs of the MEAC and Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl. Bottom-tier teams were more competitive than usual
The SWAC was No. 13 in the rankings, finishing directly behind the Patriot League and FCS independents, respectively in conference strength.
While Alcorn State and Southern were lauded for their relatively strong seasons, the rest of the league struggled mightily outside of league competition.
The SWAC was evaluated as follows:
Southwestern Athletic Conference Conference champ Alcorn State and Southern were the class of the conference. The 10 teams went a combined 3-26 against Division I opponents.
Here are the complete rankings:
1. Missouri Valley Football Conference
2. Big Sky Conference
3. CAA Football Conference
4. Southern Conference
5. Ivy League
6. Southland Conference
7. Ohio Valley Conference
8. Big South Conference
9. Northeast Conference
10. Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
11. Patriot League
12. FCS Independents
13. Southwestern Athletic Conference
14. Pioneer Football League