TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — This is a big week for the Florida A&M football team as the Rattlers travel to Orlando to face Bethune-Cookman. A strong finish could cement their place in the FCS playoffs for the second straight year.
As big as the week is, head coach Willie Simmons has talked several times this season about how his guys thrive in big time games. They love loud crowds, high pressure situations, and Saturday will be no different. The Rattlers are ranked 24th in the nation in the latest coaches poll, and head coach Willie Simmons confirming today that they have been contacted by the NCAA as a team that has a strong chance of making the playoffs.
If the Rattlers are one of the 24 teams chosen, they want to open postseason play at home. FAMU met last week and has worked to submit a bid to host that first round game, which is a big deal for the Rattlers and for the city of Tallahassee.
"All that goes into the bid, the financial commitment that you have to put up front, but also the ability to provide the accommodations for the visiting team that's coming to town," said Simmons of everything that goes into submitting a bid. "We'll keep our fingers crossed that A, we get into the playoffs, but then B, that we do have a chance to host the first Saturday after Thanksgiving."
Simmons said FAMU met last week and has worked to submit a bid to host that first round game, and the Rattlers have everyone on deck to make sure that bid was submitted properly.
"Everyone who would be integral in us successfully hosting a playoff game has been contacted," he said. "We all want that, we all understand how important that is for the city, for this University, for this football program, and we're pulling out all the stops to make sure that it happens."
To lock in their playoff spot, FAMU has to beat Bethune-Cookman Saturday in the Florida Classic. Kick-off is set for 2:30 in Orlando.