NORFOLK, Va., Nov. 13, 2017—The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference announced Monday night that the North Carolina A&T football team will represent the conference in the 2017 Celebration Bowl to be played noon in Atlanta on Dec. 16 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The conference explained the Aggies second bowl berth in three years in the following memo:
North Carolina A&T State’s win over Savannah State on Saturday clinched at least a share of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) football championship for the third time in four seasons.
Due to North Carolina Central’s loss last Saturday to Bethune-Cookman, only North Carolina A&T State (7-0 MEAC) and Howard (6-1) have an opportunity to win a share of the MEAC title. The Aggies will host North Carolina Central live on ESPN3 this Saturday, while Howard will travel to Hampton.
At stake for the Aggies on Saturday is an outright MEAC championship, which would mark their first since 2003. An Aggies win would accomplish this feat regardless of Howard’s outcome against Hampton. As NCAT loss, coupled with a Howard win, would allow the Bison to share the MEAC championship with the Aggies. It would be the Bison’s first title since 1993.
The MEAC’s tiebreaker system goes as follows:
Both North Carolina A&T State and Howard earned six (6) points for wins over Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams, as the Aggies defeated Charlotte and Howard beat UNLV. The Aggies earned an additional four (4) points for their non-conference Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) win over Gardner-Webb, while Howard does not have a non-conference FCS win.
With the third annual Celebration Bowl scheduled for Dec. 16 in Atlanta, Ga. at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, televised live on ABC as 12 p.m., North Carolina A&T State will be the MEAC’s representative regardless of Saturday’s outcomes via tiebreaker over the Bison by a 10-6 points edge. The teams did not have a head-to-head match-up in 2017.
MEAC tiebreaker scenarios at a glance:
-If NCAT wins: MEAC outright champion with an 8-0 conference record and the MEAC’s representative in the Celebration Bowl
-If NCAT loses and Howard wins: Howard and NCAT are named MEAC co-champions and NCAT is the MEAC representative in the Celebration Bowl. Howard and other postseason-eligible MEAC teams can potentially be selected at-large to the FCS Championship.
-If NCAT and Howard both lose, NCAT is the outright MEAC champion with a 7-1 record and will be the MEAC representative in the Celebration Bowl. Howard’s conference record would be 6-2.