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Four teams still in the hunt for SoCon title

Right now, there are four teams at the top of the Southern Conference.

The only one guaranteed at least a share of the conference title is Georgia Southern, which played its last league game in Saturday’s 31-28 loss to Appalachian State.

The Mountaineers, Wofford and Chattanooga still have a lot to do.

The loss by GSU (7-2, 6-2 SoCon) opened the door for Wofford (7-2, 5-2) to win the SoCon championship outright on Saturday, but the Terriers lost, 24-17, to Samford in double overtime.

"It’s a great league," said Wofford coach Mike Ayers. "Every week, you’ve got to bring it. If you don’t, you’ll have some shortcomings."

Wofford can’t win the league’s automatic bid to the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs, having lost head-to-head to Georgia Southern.

Should Wofford win its final conference game against Chattanooga (5-4, 4-2) and ASU win its season finale against Furman, the Mountaineers, Eagles and Wofford would all stand at 6-2 in SoCon play.

"It’s for all the marbles," Ayers said about Wofford’s game with the Mocs, which takes place Saturday at 1:30 p.m., in Spartanburg, S.C. "We’ll have to be a lot better team than we were last week in some areas, but if we play as hard as we did last week and execute a little bit better, we may have a chance."

Wofford beat ASU, ASU beat Georgia Southern and Georgia Southern beat Wofford, so the automatic bid goes to team with the best record against the next team in the league standings.

That would be Chattanooga if the Mocs close the season with a win against Elon.

All three two-loss teams in that scenario would have beaten the Mocs, so the tiebreaker would go to the two-loss teams’ record against the fifth-place team in the standings, which would likely be Samford, who beat Wofford and lost to ASU and GSU.

That would leave the automatic bid in App’s hands, due to the Mountaineers’ win over GSU.

It’s much easier for Georgia Southern. If Appalachian State wins Saturday against Furman, the Mountaineers get the automatic bid. If Furman wins, the Eagles take the automatic bid.

That puts the Mountaineers in good shape, considering they entered last Saturday trailing one-loss GSU and Wofford in the standings.

"With all that happened during the weekend, with all the other games, it was a great feeling on that bus ride home," Moore said.

The Eagles could still take the SoCon title outright, if ASU and Wofford lose on Saturday and Chattanooga loses its season finale against Elon.

The Eagles play their homecoming game Saturday against the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s Howard (6-3), at 2 p.m. in Paulson Stadium.


Matt Yogus may be reached at (912) 489-9408.