For the first time in three seasons, the Miles/Tuskegee game had no bearing on who would represent the SIAC Western Division in the SIAC championship game. (The game was played at Birmingham’s Legion Field in front of 19,386. Tuskegee won 13-10.) That’s because Kentucky State wrapped up the title two weeks ago with a 10-9 win over Tuskegee.
The SIAC format enables for the winner of the East and West Divisions to have the best record against division opponents and not against the SIAC as a whole. By virtue of this, KSU who has an overall 4-6 record, 4-3 in league play and 3-1 in the Division will go instead of Tuskegee who is 8-1, 5-1, 3-1.
Fort Valley State will represent the Eastern Division because of its 21-17 come-from-behind victory over Albany State at the annual Fountain City Classic before a crowd of 13,523.
Tuskegee and Albany State have been the dominant teams in the conference for the last 20 years ,with Miles entering into the conversation the last five years, having won two championships.. This will be the first time since the inception of the football championship game that Tuskegee, Albany State nor Miles will compete in the game. This will be the Thorobreds first time in the championship game and FVSU’s second.
More disconnect in the SIAC
Speaking of Tuskegee who is ranked nationally in various Division II polls, it was possible that the Golden Tigers would not make their fourth-straight trip to the playoffs.
Because Stillman decided to drop football, the Golden Tigers were left without a 10th game which is needed to be eligible for the playoffs. The SIAC’s division winner format also hurt the Golden Tigers as their 10th game would have been the SIAC championship game.
Albany State to the rescue so it was announced on Saturday after Albany State fell to Fort Valley State.
Not so fast.
In a release issued Monday afternoon by Tuskegee, it was announced that, “Albany State University informed Tuskegee University last night that they will not honor their agreement to play the Golden Tigers on November 12. During negotiations last week, both Albany State and Fort Valley State University agreed to host Tuskegee depending on which team lost their game on November 5.”
“I am very disappointed in Albany State’s decision not to honor their agreement,” Tuskegee University Athletic Director Curtis Campbell said. “As members of the SIAC, we must be able to trust the word of a member institution.”
Tuskegee is in the midst of scheduling its 10th game to be played Saturday, while also appealing the denied waiver request by the NCAA to allow for Tuskegee to be eligible for the playoffs with just nine games. According to the Montgomery Advertiser, Virginia State will be Tuskegee’s opponent.
Furthermore, despite its win over Miles, Tuskegee slipped from No. 4 to No. 6 in the NCAA Division II Super Region 2 regional rankings. The top seven teams are taken from each region.
The Golden Tigers made it to the quarterfinals of the national playoffs last year, falling to West Georgia.
Aggie-Eagle Showdown for MEAC title inevitable
North Carolina A&T and North Carolina Central remain undefeated in MEAC play. The Aggies are coming off a 30-20 victory over South Carolina State, while the Eagles defeated Delaware State 38-19.
Both teams play MEAC bottom-feeders on Saturday, the Aggies playing at Delaware State (0-9) and NCCU hosting Howard (1-8).
When both teams win on Saturday, it will set up the showdown between the two teams in Durham on November 19. It will also mark the first time since 2011, that the MEAC will crown a champion out right.
CIAA championship game rematch
Winston-Salem State and Bowie State will meet for the second-straight year in the CIAA championship game. This will mark the first time since the 2000 and 2001 seasons that there will be a rematch of the championship game.
Winston-Salem State and Virginia Union played back to back championship games with the Rams winning in 2000 and VUU winning in 2001.
Winston-Salem State won last year’s game 17-14 on Will Johnson’s 23-yard field goal as time expired.