If Florida A&M athletic director Kortne Gosha had his way, the Rattlers would be in the FCS postseason.
During an appearance with D1.ticker, Gosha said the school would “make a push” to gain entrance in the 24-team playoff field if it failed to win the SWAC East division.
“I would say it’s certainly reasonable,” Gosha said. “We, in all intents and purposes, are going to make a push. Our student-athletes deserve the opportunity to play in postseason competition.”
Florida A&M (4-2, 2-1 SWAC) is currently one full game behind first-place Jackson State with five weeks left in the regular season.
The Tigers do own the tie-breaker over the Rattlers as a result of its 7-6 Week 1 win in the Orange Blossom Classic.
Florida A&M’s only other loss is to FBS South Florida. Its best wins so far were a 28-0 victory over Alabama State and a dramatic 35-31 come from behind win against defending SWAC champion Alabama A&M.
While the Rattlers are still very much in play to win the SWAC East, they will need a pair of JSU losses to move into first while also remaining unbeaten the rest of the way.
“We are going to push the narrative and push for those opportunities to come to fruition,” said Gosha.
The playoff committee, however, may not be impressed with the Rattlers’ schedule.
Despite its win at Alabama A&M, the Bulldogs are on a current three-game losing streak. Alabama State, the other opponent FAMU defeated, is 3-3.
And over the final two months, the Rattlers do not play a team with a record over .500. In fact, the combined records of Mississippi Valley State; Grambling State; Southern; Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and Bethune-Cookman is 9-23.
But that reality is not going to dissuade Gosha from making a case for Florida A&M to at least be part of the playoff discussion.
“You have to look at the history and pedigree of our football program,” he said, making reference to the team’s 1978 FCS national championship and reputation of attracting capacity crowds.
In his pitch for a postseason berth, Gosha also suggested that the Celebration Bowl, which pits the champions of the MEAC and SWAC together in the only Division I bowl game featuring HBCUs, should be expanded to include other programs.
“Unfortunately, there is only one Celebration Bowl with two teams competing,” he said. “It certainly should be expanded for those HBCUs who are in our category who have really good football programs that need more access to showcase their talents.”