The 2013 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Co-Football Champion #25-South Carolina State University will participate in the 2013 NCAA Division I Football Championship, as announced Sunday by the NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee.
#25-South Carolina State (9-3, 8-1 MEAC) cracked the Sports Network's Top 25 poll this week following a 14-3 win over Norfolk State to gain a share of the conference's title with Bethune-Cookman. S.C. State will become the fourth team in conference history to host a NCAA Division I playoff game. Bethune-Cookman (2003, 2010), Florida A&M (1998) and Hampton (2006) also served as hosts of a playoff game.
S.C. State will be making its fourth trip to the playoffs under head coach Buddy Pough, the second at-large (first 2010). The team's last trip to the playoffs came during the 2010 season when S.C. State loss to Georgia Southern in the first round. The Bulldogs have earned five previous trips to the playoffs with wins over Rhode Island (1981) and Furman (1982).
Furman (7-5, 6-2 SoCon), claimed a share of the South Conference championship with a 27-14 win over Wofford on Saturday. The Paladins earned its league's playoff automatic qualifier and will be making its 16thappearance in the Football Championships (FCS) playoffs and first since 2006.
Bethune-Cookman (10-2, 8-1 MEAC) earned the conference's automatic qualification and will travel to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to face the Big South's Coastal Carolina (10-2). This is the second straight year that the two teams will meet in the first round of the Division I playoffs. Last year, Coastal Carolina edged out Bethune-Cookman, 24-14.
Both games will air live on ESPN3 on November 30 beginning at 1 p.m. Ticket information for both games will be announced at a later time.
Eleven conferences received automatic-qualifying berths: the Big Sky Conference, Big South Conference, Colonial Athletic Association, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, Missouri Valley Football Conference, Northeast Conference, Ohio Valley Conference, Patriot League, Pioneer Football league, Southern Conference and Southland Conference.
The winner of the B-CU/CCU game will face eight seeded Montana in the second round of the playoffs on Saturday, December 7. The SCSU/Furman winner will take on defending champion North Dakota State, the top overall seed.
The 2013 championship field consists of 11 automatic qualifiers and 13 at-large qualifiers.
Automatic Qualifiers (11) Big Sky Conference – Eastern Washington (10-2) Big South Conference – Coastal Carolina (10-2) Colonial Athletic Association – Maine (10-2) Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference – Bethune-Cookman (10-2) Missouri Valley Football Conference – North Dakota State (11-0) Northeast Conference – Sacred Heart (10-2) Ohio Valley Conference – Eastern Illinois (11-1) Patriot League – Lafayette (5-6) Pioneer Football League – Butler (9-3) Southern Conference – Furman (7-5) Southland Conference – Southeastern Louisiana (10-2)
At-Large (13) Big Sky Conference – Montana (10-2) Big Sky Conference – Northern Arizona (9-2) Big Sky Conference – Southern Utah (8-4) Colonial Athletic Association – New Hampshire (7-4) Colonial Athletic Association – Towson (10-2) Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference – South Carolina State (9-3) Missouri Valley Football Conference – South Dakota State (8-4) Ohio Valley Conference – Jacksonville State (9-3) Ohio Valley Conference – Tennessee State (9-3) Patriot League – Fordham (11-1) Southern Conference – Samford (8-4) Southland Conference – McNeese State (10-2) Southland Conference – Sam Houston State (8-4)
November 30 at Orangeburg, South Carolina, 1 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3) Furman (7-5) at South Carolina State (9-3)
November 30 at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, 1 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3) Bethune-Cookman (10-2) at Coastal Carolina (10-2)
November 30 at Durham, New Hampshire, Noon (ET) (ESPN3) Lafayette (5-6) at New Hampshire (7-4)
November 30 at Huntsville, Texas, 3 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3) Southern Utah (8-4) at Sam Houston State (8-4)
November 30 at Flagstaff, Arizona, 8 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3) South Dakota State (8-4) at Northern Arizona (9-2)
November 30 at Jacksonville, Alabama, 8 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3) Samford (8-4) at Jacksonville State (9-3)
November 30 at Bronx, New York, 1 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3) Sacred Heart (10-2) at Fordham (11-1)
November 30 at Indianapolis, Indiana, 1 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3) Tennessee State (9-3) at Butler (9-3)
December 7 at Fargo, North Dakota, 3:30 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3) Furman/South Carolina State winner at #1 North Dakota State (11-0)
December 7 at Missoula, Montana, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3) Bethune-Cookman/Coastal Carolina winner at #8 Montana (10-2)
December 7 at Orono, Maine, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3) Lafayette/New Hampshire winner at Maine (10-2)
December 7 at Hammond, Louisiana, 8 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3) Southern Utah/Sam Houston State winner at Southeastern Louisiana (10-2)
December 7 at Cheney, Washington, 4 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3) South Dakota State/Northern Arizona winner at Eastern Washington (10-2)
December 7 at Lake Charles, Louisiana, 7 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3) Samford/Jacksonville State winner at McNeese State (10-2)
December 7 at Towson, Maryland, 1 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3) Sacred Heart/Fordham winner at Towson (10-2)
December 7 at Charleston, Illinois, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3) Tennessee State/Butler winner at Eastern Illinois (11-1)