Week 10 of the HBCU football season has provided a little bit of clarity down the home stretch.
The MEAC now has a definitive leader that is one win away from clinching the conference. Meanwhile, the SWAC West is in play for multiple teams.
Also, a SIAC team finished the season doing something they had never done in school history.
Here are five takeaways from Week 10 of the HBCU football season.
Jackson State remains unbeaten
Another week and another one-sided win for the undefeated Tigers who steamrolled to a 41-14 win over Texas Southern.
This win was powered by 20 unanswered points after Texas Southern trimmed the lead to 21-14 with 8:30 remaining in the third quarter.
Sy’Veon Wilkerson had the performance of the game, posting a career-high 216 rushing yards, averaging 8.2 yards per carry to go along with two touchdowns.
Meanwhile, Shedeur Sanders added three passing touchdowns to his total, giving him 27 on the season.
Jackson State is now one win away from clinching a second straight SWAC East division title. They will have a chance to punch their ticket to the SWAC championship when they face Alabama A&M in the Gulf Coast Classic.
North Carolina Central controls the MEAC
North Carolina Central grabbed control of first place in the MEAC following a dominant 50-21 homecoming win over Howard.
The Eagles were able to take over first place thanks to not only their win but also a 24-27 South Carolina State loss to Delaware State.
Next Saturday, North Carolina Central can clinch the conference title outright and a trip to the Celebration Bowl with a win over Norfolk State.
Should they lose, the MEAC would be in Howard’s hands. The Bison would only need to win out to claim their first conference title since 1993. They go up against South Carolina State, who also need to win out and hope for a North Carolina Central loss in order to claim their second straight conference title.
SWAC West up for grabs
This weekend was a whirlwind for the SWAC West as Prairie View remains in first place despite their loss to Alcorn State on Friday. There is also a three-way tie for second place.
Had Prairie View beaten the Braves, they would need just one more win to clinch the division.
Instead, Prairie View dropped to 4-2 against the SWAC. The Braves are now deadlocked with Southern and Texas Southern for second place in the West following their loss to Florida A&M and Jackson State, respectively.
The Panthers could clinch as early as next week should they win and the three second-place teams all lose.
However, if Prairie View loses one of their two remaining games and Southern wins out, the Jaguars would win the division as a result.
Alcorn will need to win out and for both Southern and Prairie View to lose one of their last two remaining games in order to clinch.
Finally, Texas Southern clinches by winning out and Prairie View losing each of their remaining two games (they hold the tiebreaker over Southern and Alcorn State).
Needless to say, there is a lot to play for in the SWAC West.
Benedict ends the regular season perfect
Benedict heads into the SIAC championship game on a high note following a 54-21 win over Allen.
The Tigers end the regular season with a perfect 10-0 record, its first undefeated season in school history. Benedict will face Tuskegee in the SIAC championship game. This will be the first time Benedict and Tuskegee have played against each other since 2010.
Virginia Union bounces back from loss
Following its lone loss of the season against Chowan, Virginia Union ended the regular season strong with a 33-21 win over Virginia State.
The Panthers end the season with a 9-1 record, including a 5-0 mark on the road. This is their best overall record in a season since 2007.
Jada Byers added yet another strong performance to his resume with 132 rushing yards and a touchdown. This gives him 1,801 rushing yards for the year. He is just 88 yards shy of the CIAA record for yards in a season.
Byers will now await word announcement on whether or not he is a finalist for the Harlon Hill trophy. As for Virginia Union, they will wait for word on the Division II playoffs where they are hoping to be selected with an at-large bid. If they are selected, it would be the school’s first playoff selection since 2015.