By Dr. J. Kenyatta Cavil and Brandon Bolden
Inside the HBCU Huddle Columnists
College Sporting News
The first match-up features a conference title with two of three hottest Black College football programs participating in the SWAC Championship Game in Birmingham, AL.
The third ranked Alabama A&M Bulldogs, winner of eight of their last nine games, will take on the sixth ranked Grambling State Tigers, winner of six straight games, for the SWAC Championship (the hottest team arguably is Bethune-Cookman Wildcats of the MEAC, winner of six straight games, as well).
The second matchup features the Mid-Major Division II program in the No. 1 Winston-Salem State Rams hosting Wayne State.
HBCU MAJOR DIVISION FOOTBALL TOP 10 POLL
Week 14 – Released 12/05/11
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
(SWAC Championship Game)
#3 Alabama A & M (8-3, 7-2) vs #6 Grambling State (7-4, 6-3)
The Grambling State Tigers look to avenge an early season defeat as they face-off against the Alabama A&M Bulldogs for all the marbles in the 2011 SWAC Championship game this Saturday.
Grambling punched their ticket to the conference title game when they throttled Southern University in the Bayou Classic on Thanksgiving weekend, 36-12. Tigers QB, DJ Williams led the way throwing for three touchdowns all to WR, Mario Louis.
The freshman standout Williams completed 11 of 17 passes for 174 yards and one interception. Alabama A&M has the blueprint on how to beat Grambling after edging the Tigers 20-14 in early September.
Even though Grambling outgained the Bulldogs in total yards (419-316), the battle of the rushing game went to Alabama A&M who manufactured 258 yards on the ground to the Tigers’ 196. In their first matchup this season, the Bulldogs ran the ball down Grambling’s throat with Junior, RB, sensation Kaderius Lacey who carried the ball 30 times for 178 yards and two touchdowns.
Grambling, who's ranked fifth in the SWAC in run defense, faces a tough task again as they try to stop the fourth ranked rushing attack in the conference in Alabama A&M. The 258 rushing yards that Alabama A&M posted in their previous matchup was the most rushing yards Grambling allowed from any opponent this season.
Alabama A&M has won eight of their last nine games, while Grambling enters the SWAC Title Game on a six-game winning streak.
Game Outcome: Grambling (Score 17-14)
HBCU (MID)-MAJOR DIVISION GAME OF WEEK
(Bonus Game NCAA DII Playoffs)
Wayne State (11-3, 7-3) at #1 (Mid-Major) Winston-Salem State (13-0, 7-0)
With one game standing between them and the 2011 Division II National Championship game, Winston-Salem State University host Wayne State in a D-II Semifinal matchup.
The Rams took care of 2nd seeded New Haven University in their quarterfinals matchup, 27-7, last week in Winston-Salem, NC. Rams QB, Kameron Smith connected with Jameze Massey for two touchdown scores.
Winston-Salem’s running game was also in effect as Rams RB, Nicholas Cooper trucked the Charger defense for 132 yards and a touchdown.
Winston-Salem State’s stout defense was the talk of the town as they forced four turnovers and held New Haven’s offense to just seven points.
Winston-Salem State, under the helm of second year head-coach, Connell Mayor, is just one win away from clinching the school’s first trip to the Division II championship game and first ever appearance by a CIAA team.
Wayne State advances to the semifinals after defeating Minnesota-Duluth, 31-25, in their last matchup.
This matchup clearly favors Winston-Salem who currently ranks in the top 10 in three defensive categories.
The game will be televised over the internet on www.ESPN3.com or www.WatchESPN.com.
Game Outcome: Winston-Salem State (Score 31-10)