Florida A&M coach Willie Simmons
Photo: Florida A&M Athletics

Florida A&M is still very much in the hunt for SWAC East championship, but the Rattlers — at least internally — believe they have a chance to secure a postseason berth if it does not advance to the Celebration Bowl.

“My view is simple,” said head coach Willie Simmons on Monday, “if we’re deserving, we should go. “You know, I think our resume speaks for itself.”

Also read: Florida A&M athletic director makes ‘push’ for FCS playoff berth; suggests expanded Celebration Bowl

Florida A&M is currently in second place in the SWAC East, just one full game behind leader Jackson State in the standings. The Rattlers’ only conference loss was to the JSU, 7-6, in the Orange Blossom Classic.

Simmons’s comments come a week after Florida A&M athletic director Kortne Gosha said the program would lobby for a spot in the FCS playoffs if it did not win the SWAC.
The Rattlers, however, will need a lot of help to win the division or make the playoffs.

Despite being favored by at least 55% to win each of its final four regular-season games, Florida A&M is not ranked in any major FCS poll and features a schedule that is No. 253, according to the Massey Ratings.

The strength of the SWAC — with Jackson State, Alcorn State and Prairie View along with Florida A&M — could help in the conference getting an at-large bid. But the Rattlers will need to win out and win impressively in the process.

The last FCS HBCU team to earn a postseason bid without winning a conference championship was North Carolina A&T in 2016.

Florida A&M is vying to make a postseason appearance for the first time since 2001.

“If a team is deserving, it should go,” said Simmons. “If that’s FAMU or Jackson State, Prairie View or Alcorn — one of the teams still playing for a championship or postseason play — if our resume is deserving and we’re one of the top teams in America based on the voting and the analytics, I think we deserve to go play in the FCS playoffs.”


  1. He has a ligit argument because his schedule is much tougher than jstank which is ranked 300 of all colleges people, near the bottom yet people brag on their team as if they are unbelievable. Understand Jstank builds a resume on incompetent competition yet boast that they are the best. FAMU after your homecoming loss, your fate will be sealed for the year.


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