2nd prognosticator (and this one is a ‘known’ FCS pundit - also, never very high on the SoCon - so this shocks me, honestly) I’ve seen put Mercer as the last Team in. They are projecting a win over Samford, of course. That is certainly FAR from a sure thing. Samford has as much talent as any Team in the SoCon. They lost on the road at ETSU & at Furman. Their only Home loss was to VMI in OT.
Beating Samford will be a MAJOR challenge for Mercer, but they are capable of it, certainly.
Both of these brackets assume VMI will beat The Citadel - also no sure bet. VMI’s STAR QB is out for the season and his replacement is good, but nowhere near as much of an ‘assassin’ as Udinki. And CIT is on a roll and getting back to full personnel strength.
But if VMI does win, personally, I don’t see Mercer getting a bid, but I would love to be wrong...if my being wrong is needed.
Hopefully, Mercer & The Citadel will get it done & the Bears will get to celebrate their 1st SoCon Championship.
Of course, FUBeAR would be excited for all of the current Players & Coaches (and Families of those 2 groups) & Support Staff & many Administrators @ Mercer.
BUT...I would be especially excited for President Underwood for obvious reason ... and for the kids who showed up in Maconga in 2012 to start Mercer Football ... “The Day1’s” ... They looked at a mud hole that is now Five Star Stadium...and said, “Let’s build something special here. Let’s win Football games & Championships.” They were a Road game away from doing that in their 1st season in 2013...hopefully, this is the year that their dreams are fulfilled by this current group of Bears that play the game with the same unbridled spirit & ‘why not us’ mentality that the 1st group did.
The inaugural season certainly was a fun one. A lot of exciting and unexpected moments that remains unrivaled save for the close battle with Auburn a few seasons ago. I hope the team wins primarily to close the season out with a winning record but if they are rewarded with a playoff berth, that would be completely exciting. But most important is controlling what you can - best wishes in Birmingham against Sanford and Go Bears!