In a week where 9 HBCU football teams had byes and two of the top 10 teams lost, the Alabama State Hornets received all but one first-place vote in the Boxtorow National HBCU Football media and coaches polls.

Alabama State received 22 of 23 first-place votes from the media and received all 15 first place votes from the coaches.

While teams changed positions in this week’s poll, all of the teams from the previous week remained in the media poll. The Jackson State Tigers, one of the teams that had a bye, moved up a spot to No. 2.  The Winston-Salem State Rams, who have wrapped up the CIAA’s Southern Division and a berth in the championship game, moved up two spots to No. 3.  With Norfolk State falling to Bethune-Cookman on Thursday, the Spartans dropped two spots to No. 4.  Albany State moved up one spot to No. 5.

Idle Alabama A&M moved up one spot to No. 6 this week, while Bethune-Cookman moved up two spots to No. 7.  The South Carolina State Bulldogs lost to Florida A&M 27-24 in Orangeburg, SC and fell four spots to No. 8.  It marks the first time in the history of the media poll that the Bulldogs are not in the top five.  Despite its victory 30-27 in overtime over North Carolina Central, Hampton drops one spot to No. 9, while the Morehouse Maroon Tigers retain the No. 10 spot.

Similar to the media poll, all the teams in the coaches’ poll remained the same.  Jackson State moved up to No. 2, while Alabama A&M moved up to No. 3. Norfolk State dropped two spots to No. 4, while Bethune-Cookman rose two spots to No. 5.

Unlike the media poll Hampton jumped two spots from No. 8 last week to No. 6 this week.  With its big win over South Carolina State Florida A&M made the biggest jump in the coaches’ poll going from No. 10 to No. 7.  Idle Morgan State moved up one spot to No. 8, tied with South Carolina State who dropped four spots, while A&T dropped four spots to No. 10.

This week’s key match-ups include Alabama State and Alabama A&M meeting in the Magic City Classic in Birmingham with first-place in the SWAC’s Eastern Division on the line.  First place outright in the MEAC will be decided as North Carolina A&T will be at Norfolk State, while a big interdivisional in the SWAC sees Jackson State and Prairie View A&M meeting in the Shreveport Classic.

FROM THE PRESS BOX TO PRESS ROW (Boxtorow) is a nationally syndicated sports talk radio show which places major emphasis on HBCU Sports. The voters in the media poll are comprised of some of the top media members in the country who cover HBCU football. The coaches’ poll is voted on by the FCS HBCU coaches.  The media poll is in its fifth year and the coaches’ poll is in its third.


Donal Ware

Special to the AFRO