After its resounding 63-14 defeat of Prairie View A&M on national television in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference/Southwestern Athletic Conference Challenge on Sept. 4, Bethune-Cookman College was voted No. 1 in the Boxtorow Historically Black College/University football media and coaches’ power ranking polls. 

The BCC Wildcats pick up where they left off a year ago when they were voted HBCU football national champions in both polls.

Bethune-Cookman received 13 of 16 first place votes in the media poll while receiving 13 of 15 first place votes from the coaches.

There was a tie for second place in the media poll between South Carolina State and Florida A&M. South Carolina State received three first place votes despite its 21-6 loss to FBS opponent Central Michigan on Sept. 3.  Florida A&M defeated Fort Valley State 28-22 in its opener.

Grambling State, who won its opener 21-14 over Alcorn State in the Port City Classic in Shreveport, came in at the No. 4 spot, followed by Jackson State at No. 5, as the Tigers defeated Concordia-Selma, 42-2.

The remainder of the media poll sees Albany State at No. 6, Alabama State at No.7, Hampton at No. 8, Norfolk State at No. 9 and Texas Southern rounding out the poll at No. 10.

As for the coaches poll, Florida A&M received one first-place vote and came in at No. 2, followed by Grambling State at No. 3.  South Carolina State received the only other first place vote amongst the coaches and came in at No. 4, while Jackson State is No. 5.

Texas Southern, who was idle last week, finishes week one at No. 6.  Hampton, who came from behind to defeat Alabama A&M, 21-20 in the Chicago Football Classic is No. 7, followed by Alabama State at No. 8.  Norfolk State defeated Virginia State 37-3 in the annual Labor Day Classic in Norfolk and came in at No. 9, while Tennessee State defeated Southern, 33-7 in its annual John Merritt Classic and rounds out the top 10.

The big matchup this week in HBCU Football features Bethune-Cookman hosting South Carolina State on Sept. 10 in Daytona Beach, Fla.  Both teams made the FCS Playoffs last year and were MEAC Co-Champions along with Florida A&M.  Other key games include Hampton hosting Florida A&M on Sept. 8, Jackson State vs. Tennessee State in the Southern Heritage Classic in Memphis, and Texas Southern taking on Prairie View A&M in Houston.

FROM THE PRESS BOX TO PRESS ROW (Boxtorow) is a nationally syndicated sports talk radio show which places major emphasis on HBCU Sports.

The media poll is comprised of some of the top media members in the country who cover HBCU football. The coaches’ poll is voted on by the Football Champion Subdivision HBCU coaches.  The media poll is in its fifth year and the coaches’ poll is in its third.


Donal Ware

Special to the AFRO