(STATS) – There are five winless teams in the FCS and one of them doesn't seem to belong in the group.
MEAC members Bethune-Cookman (0-5) and Delaware State (0-6), Austin Peay (0-6) of the Ohio Valley Conference, Abilene Christian (0-7) of the Southland Conference and Mississippi Valley State (0-7) from the SWAC are still seeking their first wins.
The team that stands out on the list is Bethune-Cookman, which has won at least a share of five of the last six MEAC titles and was picked second in the conference preseason poll this year.
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But inclement weather, including Hurricane Matthew, has played havoc with the Wildcats' schedule, and left their season without any rhythm. Their next four games are against MEAC teams with losing records, including Norfolk State on Saturday, so the Wildcats appear as though they can get on a winning track before they make up a postponed game against South Carolina State on Nov. 26.
“I said on Saturday in the press conference, I am proud of these kids,” Bethune second-year coach Terry Sims said. “None of us are happy with a loss and shouldn't be happy with a loss. There is no such thing as moral victories. But I am proud of them for hanging in there and fighting back.”
Bethune will host Delaware State on Oct. 29, so one of those MEAC teams is guaranteed a win. Delaware State's schedule is the opposite of Bethune's as North Carolina Central, North Carolina A&T and South Carolina State – the top three teams in the conference race – are upcoming before the Hornets wrap up their season at Howard, which has one win.
Austin Peay plays three of its next four games at home, including against Mercer on Saturday, before it ends the regular season at SEC member Kentucky. The Governors have the longest losing streak among FCS teams – a whopping 22 games – and have dropped 41 straight on the road.
Abilene Christian isn't having a good sendoff to Shotwell Stadium as it heads toward playing in a new on-campus stadium next year. But the Wildcats' final four Southland opponents are a combined 8-17, including a one-win Incarnate Word squad coming to town on Saturday, so they hope to gain momentum heading into the offseason.
Mississippi Valley State struggles mightily like Austin Peay – a mere 5-35 since the start of the 2013 season with an 11-game home losing streak which is the longest in the FCS. The Delta Devils' best chance for a victory might be at one-win Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Nov. 5 because their other games are against SWAC powers Grambling State, Alcorn State and Southern.