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Jackson State and Florida A&M Presented Closing Arguments to Sway the FCS Playoffs Committee

The closing arguments presented to the FCS Playoff Committee was simple for Jackson State and Florida A&M — More Wins.

The closing arguments presented to the FCS Playoff Committee was simple for Jackson State (10–1, 8–0 SWAC) and Florida A&M (9-2, 7-1 SWAC) — More Wins.

From season opener in the Orange Blossom Classic to the final guns in Jackson, MS, and Orlando, FL, this early evening, the Tigers and Rattlers have been the top team in the SWAC.  On Saturday afternoon, those teams gave the FCS playoffs committee convincing wins to consider for at-large selection bids.

Good teams win the games they should win. A crowd of 58,892 witnessed Jackson State vanquish Alcorn State (6–5, 5–3 SWAC), 24-10 in the in-state rivalry. 

While in the Florida Classic, Florida A&M handed Bethune-Cookman 46-21 crushing defeat with an exclamation mark for the FCS selectors to take notice.

The truth is that since the NCAA FSC Playoffs begin Nov. 27 and the SWAC Championship is the following week, only FAMU will have an opportunity to receive an at-large berth.

THE CLOSING ARGUMENTS, SORT OF

In Week 11's FCS Coaches poll, Jackson State ranked No. 17 and Florida A&M No. 25. The advantage FAMU has over Jackson State is the contractual agreement with the MEAC for the SWAC champion to represent the conference at the Celebration Bowl. The disadvantage for the SWAC is that Jackson State, at the moment, is the better team.

The Tigers scored a 7-6 victory over the Rattlers in the season opener.  

The FCS rankings through Week 11 had FAMU ranked No. 1 and Jackson State No. 4 in total defense. The Tigers' total offense's numbers slipped out of the Top 50, but FAMU is at No. 48 in the country.

JSU's scoring defense at No. 7 is a notch ahead of FAMU at No. 8. Counting Saturday's contests, the Tigers have allowed 16 touchdowns versus FAMU, yielding 22 touchdowns on the season. 

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Also, Jackson State's scoring offense at No. 38 is better than Florida A&M who is not in the Top 50.

According to Stan Becton, the final records comparison for at-large bids will get a bit tricky. Programs such as South Dakota and Southern Illinois each have four losses on the season, but previous positive track records in the FCS playoffs could advance their bids.

We cannot forget one compelling argument from Jackson State — the close 9-7 loss to Louisiana-Monroe. The Tigers led the Warhawks for most of the contest. If it were not for the special teams' miscues, Deion Sanders' team would have defeated Terry Bowden's players.

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FAMU IN PRIME POSITION

In a perfect scenario, Jackson State would had to win the SWAC Championship game against Prairie View A&M before he FCS to considered the Tigers.  Unfortunately, the scheduling is off and the Florida A&M is in the best situation to receive an FCS at-large selection.

By then, the at-large selections would have been delivered.

Conversely, Florida A&M's season has ended and will be the only SWAC team available to play in the FCS playoffs.

Either the SWAC considers revising its scheduling or mandates, a team of Jackson State's caliber will always be faced with this dilemma. 

We shall see.

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