Once again Florida A&M finished second in the SWAC East, but unlike last season the Rattlers will not be postseason bound.
The Rattlers (9-2, 7-1 SWAC) had won its last nine, including a 41-20 win against in-state rival Bethune-Cookman in the Florida Classic on Saturday to wrap up the regular season.
No HBCUs qualified for the postseason tournament after the playoff bracket was revealed Sunday afternoon on ESPNU.
The Rattlers — that entered Saturday ranked No. 24 in the FCS coaches poll — had hoped to make a final impression on the selection committee. But they likely did not earn a bid to the 24-team field because of its strength of schedule and lack of a quality win despite nine victories against Division I teams.
FAMU started the season 0-2 with losses to FBS North Carolina and a 59-3 loss to Jackson State in the Orange Blossom Classic before ending the year unbeaten.
The Tallahassee Democrat previously reported that the school is working with city officials and local business stakeholders to help secure a bid to host a playoff game at Bragg Memorial Stadium if the Rattlers were selected.
FCS Selection Committee chairman Jermaine Truax explained that FAMU — as one of the bubble teams — was weighed based on its overall body of work throughout the season and “opportunities to manage your schedule.”
That meant the committee took into account the Rattlers’ 56-point loss to Jackson State as well as its non-conference schedule that featured UNC and Division II Albany State. The Rattlers had the 108th strength of schedule this season.
“Certainly, if your strength of schedule is not that strong against the other teams we are comparing you against you want to make sure you’re managing your schedule,” Truax said. “They (FAMU) certainly had an opportunity against Jackson State as a data point this year for the committee to look at and we did.”