MACON – The presidents of Mercer University and East Tennessee State University have raised the stakes for Saturday’s regular-season football finale that will decide the champion of the Southern Conference.

Both presidents have agreed upon a friendly wager of their state’s most sought-after culinary delicacies on the Nov. 20 contest that will kick off at 1 p.m. at Greene Stadium in Johnson City, Tennessee.

If the Bears win, ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland will send Tennessee barbecue to Mercer President William D. Underwood, and if the Buccaneers win, Underwood will send Georgia peaches to Dr. Noland.

In addition to earning the SoCon championship, the winner of Saturday’s game will receive an automatic bid to the FCS Playoffs, which begin Nov. 27.

The Bears (7-2, 6-1 SoCon), ranked No. 21 in the Stats Perform poll and No. 23 in the AFCA poll, are seeking their first conference championship and first FCS Playoff appearance in program history. They have already set the program record for most conference victories in a single season with six.

Limited seats to Saturday’s game are available on the ETSU ticketing website.

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Kyle is the director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he coordinates hometown and university news releases and serves as editor of the News@Mercer e-newsletter and Reach magazine.​