North Carolina Central was picked to defend its MEAC Football Championship as the Eagles topped the league’s annual preseason poll. Voting for the poll is conducted by the MEAC’s 11 head coaches and football sports information directors.
The Eagles received 13 first-place votes to narrowly finish ahead of rival North Carolina A&T State, who finished with 10 first-place votes. South Carolina State was picked to finish third while Bethune-Cookman was picked fourth. Hampton was tabbed to finish fifth followed by Florida A&M, Norfolk State, Morgan State, Howard, Savannah State and Delaware State.
1. North Carolina Central (13)
2. North Carolina A&T State (5)
3. South Carolina State
5. Hampton (1)
6. Florida A&M
7. Norfolk State
8. Morgan State
10. Savannah State
11. Delaware State (1)
MEAC ANNOUNCES 2017 ESPN TV FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference announced its entire television package for the 2017 season which features eight regular season matchups on ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, and ESPN3. The nationally televised games are a part of the MEAC’s ongoing partnership with ESPN.
The 13th annual MEAC/SWAC Football Challenge kicks off the 2017 season featuring South Carolina State at Southern University of the SWAC live on ESPN2 at 2:30 p.m. South Carolina State will play in the classic for the fourth time and looks to remain unbeaten (3-0) as they’ll face Southern for the first time since the 1997 Heritage Bowl. Southern University is the only SWAC school to claim have claimed wins (2) in MEAC/SWAC Challenge history.
This year’s weeknight ledger features a pair of Thursday night games and one Friday night contest live on ESPNU beginning at 7:30 p.m. The defending MEAC Champion North Carolina Central University Eagles will host the first Thursday night contest of the season as they’ll welcome South Carolina State University to Durham, N.C. on Sept. 21. Florida A&M returns to the Thursday night lineup for the first time since 2015 as they’ll host North Carolina Central in Tallahassee, Fla. on Sept. 28. MEAC football will be featured under the Friday night lights for the first time since 2015 as Morgan State heads to Orangeburg, S.C. to square off against the South Carolina State Bulldogs on Friday, Oct. 6.
The Saturday slate begins in mid-October with the annual Battle of the Bay featuring Hampton University at Norfolk State on Oct. 14. On Oct. 21, Bethune-Cookman travels to Greensboro, N.C. to visit North Carolina A&T State. Both games will air live on ESPN3 and broadcast that evening on ESPNU.
The weekend of Nov. 18 will feature a pair of contests beginning with the annual Florida Classic featuring Bethune-Cookman and Florida A&M live on ESPN Classic and ESPN3 from the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla. The MEAC’s second annual wild card game will also take place on Nov. 18 featuring two teams in contention for the MEAC Championship.
The third annual Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl wraps up the season as the MEAC Champion will square off against the SWAC Champion on Saturday, Dec. 16 in Atlanta, Ga. inside the brand-new Mercedes Benz Stadium. The contest will air live on ABC at noon.
|Sunday, Sept. 3||South Carolina State at Southern||2:30 p.m.||ESPN2 (Live)|
|Thursday, Sept. 21||South Carolina State at North Carolina Central||7:30 p.m.||ESPNU (Live)|
|Thursday, Sept. 28||North Carolina Central at Florida A&M||7:30 p.m.||ESPNU (Live)|
|Friday, Oct. 6||Morgan State at South Carolina State||7:30 p.m.||ESPNU (Live)|
|Saturday, Oct. 14||Hampton at Norfolk State||2 p.m.||ESPN3 (Live)/ESPNU (10:30 p.m.)|
|Saturday, Oct. 21||Bethune-Cookman at North Carolina A&T State||1 p.m.||ESPN3 (Live)/ESPNU (10:30 p.m.)|
|Saturday, Nov. 18||Bethune-Cookman vs. Florida A&M||2 p.m.||ESPN Classic (Live)|
|Saturday, Nov. 18||MEAC Wildcard||2 p.m.||ESPN3 (Live)/ESPNU (10:30 p.m.)|
|Saturday, Dec. 16||Celebration Bowl||12 p.m.||ABC (Live)|