|Winston-Salem State and Tuskegee will be the two HBCU teams in the Division II playoffs. (WSSU/Garrett Garms photo)|
Heading into the season, Winston-Salem State and Tuskegee were considered the two best teams in HBCU football. Despite neither team claiming their conference title, both schools were among the 24 selected to the Division II Football Playoffs.
Tuskegee will play at North Alabama in the 3/6 matchup in its region. Tuskegee finished 8-2, and would have likely not made the playoffs had Miles won the SIAC championship game, but a second half comeback by Albany State gave them a shot. The Golden Tigers will be appearing in the playoffs for the first time in their history after choosing to opt-out of the annual Turkey Day Classic against Alabama State.
Fourth-seeded Winston-Salem State will host no. 5 Slippery Rock in its first round matchup. WSSU is 9-1, and is in the playoffs for the third-straight year. WSSU has won nine straight since dropping its opener to UNC-Pembroke, who received a top seed in its region. It was ranked as high as second in its region, which would have given it a bye, but the Rams fell out of the second spot without a loss. WSSU was set to take on Virginia State in the CIAA Championship Game on Saturday, but the game was cancelled after an altercation on Friday.
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The second annual Deacon Jones Trophy will be awarded in Feb. 2018.