By Dr. J. Kenyatta Cavil and Guest Demetrius Gatewood
Inside the HBCU Huddle Columnist
College Sporting News
This past weekend games were much of the same with the most top teams winning or taking a bye week, which will set-up some major matchups in week nine. There are three games featuring teams in the poll rankings facing one another. Tennessee State of the OVC will host Eastern Illinois, both undefeated in conference play. In the MEAC, the Wildcats host the Bulldogs, while in the SWAC, key inter-divisional games abound.
HBCU Major Division Top 10 – Week 8 Released 10/20/13
Rank Team & Mascot Record FPV Points PWR
1 Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (6-1) 5 104 1
2 @ Tennessee State Tigers (7-1) 4 103 2
3 S. C. State Bulldogs (5-2) 3 97 3
4 Jackson State Tigers (6-2) - 78 4
5 Alabama State Hornets (5-2) - 67 5
6 Alcorn State Braves (6-2) - 58 6
7 Southern Jaguars (4-3) - 54 10
8 Prairie View A&M Panthers (5-3) - 39 8
9 Delaware State Hornets (3-4) - 18 NR
10 N. C. A&T Aggies (3-3) - 12 7
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-(3-4)
Receiving Votes: N/A
Wins by Top Six Teams; Set-up Huge Matchups in Week 9: The Delaware State Hornets enter into the Top 10 for the first time this season
The No. 1 Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (6-1, 3-0) soundly defeated, 48-21, the Savannah State Tigers (1-7, 0-4) to set-up a key matchup of conference undefeated teams. The Wildcats, for homecoming, will host the South Carolina State Bulldogs (5-2, 3-0) this weekend. The No. 3 Bulldogs were off this past weekend as they prepared for the de facto MEAC Championship Game in most people’s opinion. The Wildcats traveled to Oliver C. Dawson Stadium and defeated the Bulldogs, 27-14, last season.
The Wildcats have five first-place votes and 104 points, while the Bulldogs have three first-place votes and 97 points in this week’s poll rankings. The second ranked Tennessee State Tigers (7-1, 4-0) continue to play impressive defense as they defeated, 29-15, the UT-Martin Skyhawks (4-3, 2-2). A key Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) game will feature the two undefeated teams in conference action. The Tigers will host the Eastern Illinois Panthers (6-1, 3-0) in Nashville as their homecoming opponent. The No. 2 Tennessee State Tigers received four first-place votes and 103 points this week.
The No. 4 Jackson State Tigers (6-2, 6-0) will travel to Louisiana to participate in the Shreveport Classic versus the No. 8 Prairie View A&M Panthers (5-3, 4-2) in a key SWAC intra-divisional matchup. The Tigers are undefeated in conference, but have a one loss Hornets and Braves teams right behind them in the SWAC Eastern Division. The Tigers received 78 points in the poll rankings.
The Tigers are coming off an emotional roller coaster week regarding whether they would have a homecoming opponent as the entire Grambling State Tigers football team staged a player walkout, a practice boycott, coaching changes, and finally, forced the forfeit of a conference game. While, the Panthers, 51-14, pounded the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils (1-6, 1-4) for their homecoming matchup. The Panthers are chasing the Southern Jaguars for the Western Division race.
The Alabama State Hornets had an open week on their schedule as they prepare for the 72nd State Farm Magic City Classic in Birmingham, AL versus their instate rival, the Alabama A&M Bulldogs (2-5, 2-3) who are also coming off of an open date in their schedule. The No. 5 Hornets (5-2, 5-1) round out the top five teams in the Dr. Cavil’s HBCU Major Division Top 10 Poll Rankings with 67 points.
The No. 6 Alcorn State Braves (6-2, 4-1) travel into hostile territory, Baton Rouge, LA, home of the No. 7 Southern Jaguars (4-3, 4-1) as a homecoming opponent. This is the second key SWAC intra-divisional matchup on tap for this weekend. The Braves have won three straight games, while the Jaguars have won their second consecutive game after tough home emotional lost to the Jackson State Tigers. Both teams are in control of their own destiny for the race to play in Houston for the SWAC Football Championship Game. This game could have a major say in which will continue to control their destiny for that trip.
The No. 9 Delaware State Hornets (3-4, 3-1), although with a losing overall record, enter into the poll rankings for the first time this season after a road upset win, 12-7, over the then seventh ranked North Carolina A&T Aggies (3-3, 1-3). The Hornets, winners of their last two games, will travel again this week to take on the Hampton Pirates (2-5, 2-1), winners of two straight.
The No. 10 North Carolina A&T Aggies (3-3, 1-3) remained in the tenth spot after losing to the Delaware State Hornets. The Aggies will travel to Tallahassee, FL to face the Florida A&M Rattlers (2-5, 1-2).
The North Carolina Central Eagles (3-4, 1-2) fall out of the top 10 poll rankings this week after losing their second consecutive conference game. There were not any teams outside of Dr. Cavil’s Top 10 poll rankings receiving points in week eight.