By Dr. J. Kenyatta Cavil and Guest Columnist Brandon Bolden
Inside the HBCU Huddle Columnists
College Sporting News
The No. 3 Blue Bengals of Tennessee State held the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats to 260 total yards, while the Wildcats defense was up to the challenge and held the Tigers to 248 total yards. The Tigers sophomore quarterback, Ronald Butler passed for 132 yards with 13 completions on 21 attempts as he tried to lead his team to a game tying field goal. The attempt went wide right as time expired.
The A&M HBCU programs started the opening weekend on winning notes. Starting with the Florida A&M Rattlers, lead by quarterback Damien Fleming passing for 110 yards, earn a win in the 9th MEAC / SWAC Challenge over Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils. The Marching 100 also hit a winning musical note as the performed for the first time since a traffic accident lead to their suspension.
In the SWAC, Prairie View A&M and Alabama A&M picked up crucial early season conference wins over the Grambling State Tigers and Texas Southern Tigers, respectively. The Panthers won behind the arm of Jerry Lovelocke passing for 283 yards and a touchdown, with the legs of Courtney Brown rushing for 98 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns along with five receptions for 85 yards as the offense exploded for 488 total yards and the reframe of the Purple Haze defense forcing four turnovers.
The Bulldogs won behind the arm of quarterback Brandon Wells passing for 187 yards and two touchdowns and the legs of running back Barrington Scott rushing for 77 yards on 16 carries and one touchdown and on the back of the defense holding the Tigers to 165 yards in total offense.
In addition, several HBCU programs were blasted against Football Bowl Subdivision competition. If the first weekend is any indication of what is to come ‘Inside The HBCU Huddle,’ it will be a great season to follow.
HBCU MAJOR DIVISION TOP 10 – WEEK 1
Released 09/01/13 Rank Team & Mascot Record FPV Points PWR
1 Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (1-0) 9 114 1
2 N. C. A&T Aggies (0-0) 2 93 3
3 @ Tennessee State Tigers (0-1) 92 4
4 Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions (0-1) 1 89 2
5 Alabama State Hornets (0-1) 64 8
6 S. C. State Bulldogs (0-1) 19 9
7 Jackson State Tigers (0-1) 55 5
8 Prairie View A&M Panthers (1-0) 39 10
9 Florida A&M Rattlers (1-0) 16 NR
10 Alabama A&M Bulldogs (1-0) 13 NR
FPV = First Place Votes; PWR = Previous Week Ranking; NR = Not Ranked
@ Tennessee State
@ = TSPN & 3C 2012 HBCU Football Major Division National Champion
Dropped Out: N. C. Central Eagles-(0-1), Southern Jaguars-(0-1)
Receiving Votes: Alcorn State-(1-0)-11
The Bethune-Cookman Wildcats continue to hold onto the No. 1 ranking after fighting on the road to earn a victory, 12-9, over the No. 3 ranked Tennessee State Tigers with 92 points in the 15th John Merritt Classic. The No. 1 Wildcats, with 114 points with nine first-place votes, will host the No. 10 ranked HBCU Mid-Major Virginia Union Panthers. The third ranked Tigers will head on the road to face the No. 9 Rattlers in a top team matchup. The Florida A&M Rattlers are ranked for the first time this season after defeating the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils in the MEAC / SWAC Challenge, 27-10.
Although the North Carolina A&T Aggies were open the first week of the season, they move up to No. 2 spot with 93 points and two first-place votes. 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 No. 4 ranked Arkansas Pine Bluff Golden Lions drop two spots after a lost to Arkansas State Red Wolves of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Sun Belt Conference, 66-11. The Golden Lions received 89 points and one first-place votes. This week the Golden Lions will travel to face the McNeese State Cowboys of the Southland Conference that were one of seven FCS programs that upset FBS foes this past weekend. The Cowboys dominated the South Florida Bulls of the American Athletic Conference (AAC), 53-21.
The No. 5 Alabama State Hornets and No. 6 South Carolina State both had tough home losses this opening weekend. The Hornets round out the top five earning 64 points and move up three spots although they lost their home opening contest in the new stadium to the Jacksonville State Gamecocks, 24-22. The Hornets will face the No. 7 Jackson State Tigers in an early important SWAC Eastern Division contest. While the Bulldogs of South Carolina State lost a home opener to Coastal Carolina, 27-20. It will not get any easier for the Bulldogs as the head on the road to face the ACC/FBS Clemson Tigers this week.
The No. 8 Prairie View A&M Panthers move up two spots after defeating their in-state conference rivals in the Texas Southern Tigers, 37-13. The Panthers will hit the road next weekend to face FBS Texas State Bobcats of the Sun Belt Conference. Entering into the poll rankings for the first time this season in final spot is the No. 10 Alabama A&M Bulldogs after going on the road and defeating the Grambling State Tigers in a SWAC contest, 23-9. In week two, the Bulldogs will host the Tuskegee Golden Tigers. The Golden Tigers are the No. 2 ranked program in Dr. Cavil’s HBCU Mid-Major Poll Rankings.
Falling out of the top 10 poll rankings this week are the North Carolina Central Eagles from the sixth position and the Southern Jaguars from the seventh spot. The Eagles lost to Duke 45-0 and the Jaguars lost to the University of Houston Cougars, 62-13.