N.C. A&T: Aggies stormed back to prominence under coach Rod Broadway, who led A&T to the co-championship in 2014. RB Tarik Cohen might be the league’s best player.
N.C. Central: Eagles shared the title in Jerry Mack’s first season as coach. Kick returner Michael Jones is one of the nation’s best.
S.C. State: Bulldogs aren’t flashy but are always solid under coach Buddy Pough. S.C. State always plays to its strengths – defense and rushing attack.
FIVE TO WATCH
Tarik Cohen, N.C. A&T, RB, Jr. (5-6, 173): He’s a small but a touchdown threat with every carry. He rushed for 1,340 yards and 15 touchdowns to earn 2014 co-offensive player of the year honors.
Deon King, Norfolk State, LB, Sr. (6-1, 235): One of the MEAC’s best defenders. Led the Spartans in sacks last season with 7½ along with 106 tackles.
Herb Walker, Morgan State, RB, Jr. (5-8, 180): Another compact runner who excels between the tackles. He set the school single-season rushing record with 1,408 yards and 13 touchdowns last year.
Malcolm Bell, N.C. Central, QB, Jr. (6-1, 190): Emerged as a capable leader for the Eagles’ improved offense, passing for 1,984, 15 scores.
Javon Hargrave, S.C. State, NT, Sr. (6-2, 295): A one-man wrecking crew in the middle, he racked up 16 sacks for the Bulldogs in 2014.
DON’T MISS THIS GAME
Nov. 21: N.C. Central at N.C. A&T: The Eagles earned a share of the 2014 title with an upset win at home against the rival Aggies. A&T hasn’t forgotten the sting.
Five teams shared the regular season championship in 2014, but this season’s title chase is likely to come down to A&T, N.C. Central and S.C. State. Hampton could be a dark horse.
Previewing college football conferences that include schools from the Carolinas: