By Dr. J. Kenyatta Cavil and guest Demetrius Gatewood
Inside the HBCU Huddle Columnist
College Sporting News
Expectations! HBCU Football Major Division, 2013 Season
As the leather pigskins meet the cleats this fall to kick-off the season, the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats find themselves atop Dr. Cavil’s HBCU Major Division Football Poll Rankings and are the favorites to win the MEAC. The combination of votes and computer ranking metrics has the Wildcats in the No. 1 position with 111 points and six first-place votes. The Wildcats are closely followed by the No. 2 ranked Golden Lions of Arkansas-Pine Bluff with 98 points and three first-place votes. The Golden Lions of the SWAC will travel to take on the Arkansas State Wolves of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Sun Belt Conference the first week of the season.
The Aggies of North Carolina A&T enter into the season ranked No. 3 with 96 points. The Aggies received one first-place vote. The Aggies will travel to Boone, NC to face the Appalachian State Mountaineers of the Southern Conference whom have recently announced their transition from the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) to the FBS as a member of the Sun Belt Conference in 2014.
The Tennessee State Tigers are at No. 4 with 90 points and two first-place votes. The Tigers will welcome the No. 1 ranked Bethune-Cookman Wildcats to Nashville, TN for the 15th John Merritt Classic the first week of the season. The Jackson State Tigers enter into the 2013 ranked fifth, rounding out the top five. The No. 5 Blue Bengals will travel to New Orleans to take on the Tulane Green Wave (FBS) of the newly renamed American Athletic Conference (AAC).
The No. 6 North Carolina Central Eagles are just outside of the top five. The Eagles are travelling across town to tangle with the Duke Blue Devils of the ACC. The No. 7 Southern Jaguars travel to Texas for a featured ‘Friday Night Lights’ matchup facing the UH Cougars of the AAC.
The No. 8 Alabama State Hornets, the No. 9 South Carolina State Bulldogs, and the No 10 Prairie View A&M Panthers round out the final five spots of the top 10 poll rankings. The Hornets will host the Jacksonville State Gamecocks in their new state-of-the-art stadium, while the Bulldogs host Coastal Carolina Chanticleers in week 1. The Panthers are in a conference matchup against their rivals, the Texas Southern Tigers.
Two teams are just outside of Dr. Cavil’s Top 10 receiving votes. The Florida A&M Rattlers received eight points and will take on a much improved, but unranked Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils squad in this year’s MEAC / SWAC Challenge. The MEAC / SWAC Challenge will be aired on ESPN, September 1 at 10:45am ET. The second SWAC matchup outside of the top 10 features the Grambling State Tigers traveling to Huntsville, AL for a grudge match with the Alabama A&M Bulldogs.
Dr. Cavil's Major Division Football Preseason Top 10 Poll Rankings
Name of institution, record in parentheses, first-place votes, total points, previous week ranking, last week opponent and next week opponent:
Name-----Record-1PV-Points-PWR--Last Game-Next Game-
1. Bethune-Cookman Wildcats--(0-0)-(6)--111--NR--((Final 2012 Ranking (3) W=L (9-3)); Season Opener-at-Tennessee State Tigers)
2. Arkansas-P. B. Golden Lions--(0-0)-(3)--98--NR--((Final 2012 Ranking (2) W=L (10-2)); Season Opener-at-Arkansas State Wolves/FBS)
3. N. C. A&T Aggies--(0-0)-(1)--96--NR--((Final 2012 Ranking (4) W=L (7-4)); Season Opener-at-Appalachian State Mountaineers)
4. #-Tennessee State Tigers--(0-0)-(2)--90--NR--((Final 2012 Ranking (1) W-L (8-3)); Season Opener-vs-Bethune-Cookman Wildcats)
5. Jackson State Tigers--(0-0)-63--NR--((Final 2012 Ranking (4) W-L (7-5)); Season Opener-at-Tulane Green Wave/FBS)
6. N. C. Central Eagles--(0-0)-52--NR--((Final 2012 Ranking (2) W=L (6-5)); Season Opener-at-Duke Blue Devils/FBS)
7. Southern Jaguars--(0-0)-51--NR--((Final 2012 Ranking (NR) W=L (4-7)); Season Opener-at-UH Cougars/FBS)
8. Alabama State Hornets--(0-0)-37--NR--((Final 2012 Ranking (6) W-L (7-4)); Season Opener-vs-Jacksonville State Gamecocks)
9. S. C. State Bulldogs--(0-0)-19--NR--((Final 2012 Ranking (NR) W-L (5-6)); Season Opener-vs-Coastal Carolina Chanticleers)
10. Prairie View A & M Panthers-(0-0)-14--NR--((Final 2012 Ranking (NR) W-L (3-8)); Season Opener-vs-Texas Southern Tigers)
Dropped Out: N/A
Receiving Votes: Florida A&M Rattlers-(0-0); (Final 2012 Ranking (NR) W-L (4-7))-8,
Alabama A&M Bulldogs-(0-0); (Final 2012 Ranking (8) W-L (7-4))-3
PWR = Previous Week Ranking, 1PV = 1st Place Votes, LG = Last Game
# = Dr. Cavil's 2012 HBCU Football Major Division National Champion
Major Division = Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) / (Formerly NCAA Division I-AA)
The poll is based on a combination of a ranking algorithm and a voting system. It is the original HBCU sports poll that separates the rankings (since 2003) of NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II and NAIA Division I member HBCU institutions into two distinct categorical polls: Major and Mid-Major (This format is unlike the historic SBN Poll). The Major Division Poll, consist of NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) [formerly I-AA] programs and the Mid-Major Division Poll, which consist of both NCAA Division II and NAIA Division I programs. This format was introduced to the public based on the request of Black College blogging fans and on the research that consists of data mining and the difference in scholarship limitation requirements beset by NCAA and NAIA bylaws (i.e. maximum allotment: Division I FCS = 63, Division II = 36 and NAIA = 24).