Northeast Mississippi Community College’s 61st football season in school history will look slightly different than a majority of its previous campaigns.
The Tigers will compete in a total of eight contests instead of the traditional nine-game slate during the fall of 2020 due to continuing concerns surrounding the global coronavirus pandemic.
The Mississippi Association of Community Colleges (MACC), which is a body comprised of the Magnolia State’s 15 two-year institution presidents, approved a two-week delay in the beginning of the season and shortened the schedule by one matchup.
Northeast lost a road trip to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College as part of the statewide alterations. It will be the first time in three years that the Tigers do not meet the defending national champions.
It shapes up to be the second shortest regular season in program history. Northeast participated in only seven games prior to the playoffs in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina wiped out the first two weeks.
“I think the athletic directors and presidents have done an excellent job with what we’re doing,” said Tigers head coach Greg Davis. “This is totally unprecedented compared to our normal daily lives. It’s been a challenging deal for all of us.”
The Tigers will alternate home-and-away contests throughout the abbreviated year. Northeast opens its campaign in the City of Hospitality for the second straight season on Thursday, September 10 against Jones College.
Northeast concludes the non-division portion of its agenda one week later at Hinds Community College. It is the first matchup between the Tigers and the Eagles since September 3, 2015.
Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division play gets underway with back-to-back rivalry tilts versus Northwest Mississippi Community College on Thursday, September 24 and Itawamba Community College on Thursday, October 1.
Northeast has a pair of afternoon kick offs during the final month of the campaign, including on Saturday, October 17 at Mississippi Delta Community College. The Tigers close the season with a rare weekday matinee at Holmes Community College on Thursday, October 29.
East Mississippi Community College and Coahoma Community College round out the docket for Northeast when they pay a visit to the Booneville campus on the 8th and 22nd of October, respectively.
The “Battle of the Tigers” with Coahoma will serve as Northeast’s annual homecoming game. It is the latest such occasion for the Tigers since 1998 when East Mississippi came to town on that exact same date.
“Overall, I think the schedule is good,” Davis said. “There are a lot of great teams that we’re going to play this year with a lot of talent. I like the fact that we get the non-conference games first and then we go straight into a run of division games.”
The 2020 MACJC playoffs begin on November 7 with the semifinal round that features the winners and runners-up from both divisions. The state title matchup takes place on November 14.
The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) hosts its championship game for the third consecutive year at Pittsburg State (Kan.) University’s Carnie Smith Stadium on December 3.
CUTLINE (PHOTO: Michael H. Miller/Northeast Public Information)
Fans fill the grandstands inside Tiger Stadium for Northeast Mississippi Community College’s final home game of the 2019 season against Northwest Mississippi Community College. Northeast opens the 2020 season with a home date against Jones College on Thursday, September 10.