By Dr. J. Kenyatta Cavil and Brandon Bolden
Inside the HBCU Huddle Columnists
College Sporting News
Teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, which with the Southwestern Athletic Conference are completely comprised of HBCUs have the only HBCU wins, the last coming in the 1999 playoffs, (First Round: North Carolina A& 24, Tennessee State 10, Florida A&M 44, Appalachian State 29, and Second Round: Florida A&M 17, Troy State 10).
While the MEAC has an automatic bid to the playoffs, the SWAC has only been eligible for an at-large bid and has not earned a bid since 1997, (First Round: Western Illinois 31, Jackson State 24), with a record of 0-19 since 1978 after the formation of the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA).
Considering the futility, these numbers beg a question to be answered: what needs to change for the HBCU FCS programs to have success in the playoffs as measured by winning a game or two each tournament?
With no FCS HBCU match-ups this weekend, this week’s column features a review of the Spartans at the Monarchs. As a bonus, the second game of the week will feature an HBCU program, the Winston-Salem State Rams, that reclassified from the NCAA Division I FCS level back to the NCAA Division II level and now continues playing in the NCAA Division II playoffs after winning their first round game last week against California (PA), 35-28.
HBCU MAJOR DIVISION FOOTBALL TOP 10 POLL
Week 13 – Released 11/28/11
1. Jackson State--(9-2)
2. Norfolk State--(9-3)
3. Alabama A & M--(8-3)
4. Alabama State--(7-3)
6. Grambling State--(7-4)
7. S. C. State—(7-4)
9. Florida A & M--(7-4)
10. Arkansas Pine Bluff--(6-5)
@-Texas Southern--(4-7) = N/R
@ = TSPN & 3C 2010 HBCU Football Major Division National Champion
HBCU CLASSIC GAME OF WEEK
Review #1 Norfolk State (9-3, 7-1) at Old Dominion (10-2, 6-2), First Round of the 2011 NCAA Division I Football Championships
The Norfolk State Spartans saw their 2011 postseason stint come to an end on last Saturday as they fell to Old Dominion University of the Colonial Athletic Association, 35-18. The Spartans who posted one of their best seasons in school history could not stop Old Dominion and their dynamic passing game led by QB, Taylor Heinicke. Heinicke led the Monarch offense to another impressive showing, completing 21 of 30 passes for 269 yards and five touchdowns. Heinicke connected with Nick Mayers, Prentice Gill and Larry Pinkard for the scores. Spartan QB, Chris Walley had a decent outing as well two interceptions withstanding, he threw, going 28 of 43 for 363 yards and two touchdowns. Norfolk State struck first blood on a Derrick Demp 98-yard touchdown reception from QB, Chris Walley putting the MEAC champs up, 7-0 early in the 1st. The Spartans won the battle of total yardage over Old Dominion 406-385 and time of possession. Spartan QB, Walley threw for a season-high of 363 yards. Two of Old Dominion’s touchdowns came on the ensuing drives of both QB, Walley interceptions. With that win, The Monarchs advance to the 2nd round of the D-I playoffs where they will meet up with Georgia Southern this Saturday.
Game Outcome: Old Dominion (Score 35-18)
HBCU (MID)-MAJOR DIVISION GAME OF WEEK .(BONUS GAME NCAA DII PLAYOFFS)
New Haven (9-2, 8-0) at #1 (Mid-Major) Winston-Salem State (12-0, 7-0)
Winston-Salem State University looks to stay perfect and advance to the next round in the postseason as they play host to New Haven University. The heavy favored Winston-Salem State squeaked by California (PA) on last Saturday in 2nd round action, 35-28. The Rams led 35-14 early in the third before allowing California (PA) to crawl back and come within one touchdown. The Rams RB, Nicholas Cooper carried The Rams offense on his back rushing for 118 yards and three touchdowns. Cooper was the first player to rush for 100 yards against the Vulcans this entire season. New Haven slipped past No. 6 Kutztown on last Saturday 44-37. The Chargers offense completely had a ball against Kutztown, collecting 538 yards of total offense. New Haven QB, Ryan Osiecki went 23 of 31 for 433 yards and 5 touchdowns, connecting with WR, Jason Thompson for four of the scores. Oseicki also rushed for 38 yards on six carries. Thompson hauled in six grabs for 214 yards and four touchdowns. Even though standing undefeated, Rams are actually the underdog in their matchup with a New Haven team that can air it out with the best of them. Quarterback, Oseicki and the New Haven offense ranks No. 1 in the entire Division II in pass efficiency which does not hold well for Winston-Salem State whose pass defense is not atrocious but yet leaves a great deal to be desired, allowing 205.83 yards per game.
Game Outcome: New Haven (Score 48-43)