The Florida A&M Rattlers (9-2) were handed some crushing news as the NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee did not select the program for the FCS College Football Playoffs.
What is most surprising, and have many people scratching their heads, is how a #20 ranked Rattler team did not make a 24-team playoff bracket.
Instead, the committee chose four 7-4 teams, and a 6-5 team over a Florida A&M team who finished the season with a 9-2 record.
My guess, is the committee does not respect the HBCU conferences and believes they are inferior to the so-called bigger conferences.
After A Rough Start To The Season The Rattlers Rolled Off 9 Straight Wins
The first two games of the season were not easy for the Rattlers, who had 26 players unable to play because of NCAA certification and eligibility rulings. In their season opener against North Carolina in the ACC , the Rattlers gave the Tar Heels all they could handle for three quarters, trailing only 35-24. The Tar Heels opened up the game against an undermanned Rattler team in the fourth quarter and went on the win 56-24.
The #13 ranked Tar Heels (9-2) are a Power 5 team who will play in the ACC Championship game in December.
Florida A&M's next opponent was against the SWAC/HBCU juggernaut Jackson State. Still undermanned they were dominated from start to finish and lost the game 59-3.
Jackson State is ranked #5 in the FCS and will play in the SWAC Championship game in December.
After their 2nd loss, thankfully, the certification issues were dealt with, and the players returned to the field. The Rattlers would go on a tear and win their next nine games.
Could it be that Florida A&M dug a hole for themselves in their first two games? Did the Championship Committee not do their homework and overlook the Rattlers conflicted yet successful season?
Regardless, the team could have thrown in the towel and quit, but they didn't. They showed a ton of character by winning nine straight games and should have been rewarded with an invitation to the playoffs.
Even Coach Prime of Jackson State weighed in on Florida A&M not being selected in the FCS Playoffs. "How is FAMU Football not in the FCS Playoffs, Prime said." "Please make me understand a team that only lost to a Power 5 and the 5th ranked FCS team not get in? Somebody please help me!"
How Can This Issue Be Resolved For The Future?
For this to be resolved HBCU's will have to schedule and beat these so-called FCS big conferences. It is clear, the Championship Committee does not think HBCU's can compete alongside these conferences. Otherwise, Florida A&M would have been a clear pick for the playoffs.
So all HBCU coaches with conference contenders like Florida A&M, North Carolina Central, Jackson State, and others, show up to the Championship Committee by beating these so-called superior conferences. If not I have a feeling we will see more snubs like this in the future, and HBCU's will find themselves on the outside looking in.