BASN Black College Focus: Football Roundup

By Tony McClean
Updated: November 12, 2004

NEW HAVEN, Ct. — Here are the latest happenings in the black college football world as the races in the MEAC and SWAC begin to come to a close. Also the Division II Playoffs begin this Saturday as well.

Despite being defeated 10-7 by Shaw in the CIAA Championship Game, the Broncos of Fayetteville State are headed back to the NCAA Division II Football Playoffs. FSU, who was ranked fifth in the Southeast Regional Poll prior to the contest, got in as the sixth seed in the region and will play at third-seeded Carson-Newman (8-2) on Saturday (1 p.m.).
As for the champs of the SIAC, Albany State received a first round bye to the playoffs by virtue of being the top seed in the Southeast Region and will play the winner of the first round game between Arkansas Tech and Catawba. The Golden Rams finished with their first unbeaten regular season (10-0) since 1997 and with the longest winning streak in Division II with 18 straight wins.
The 2004 CIAA Football Champions Shaw University will battle Tuskegee of the SIAC in this year’s Pioneer Bowl slated for December 4, 2004 at Ladd Pebbles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. The Pioneer Bowl in the only NCAA sanctioned Division II football bowl game for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Mobile will host this year’s game for the first time; where Atlanta had served as host since 1998. A local host committee has provided entertainment options surrounding the event including a Kick-Off Banquet and awards event.

SATURDAY’S SBN TOP 10 SCHEDULE (rankings in parentheses)

(2) Hampton (8-1, 5-1 MEAC) vs. N.C. A&T (3-6, 1-4)

A win over the Aggies will give HU its third MEAC crown and first Division I-AA playoff berth since 1998. The Pirates have gone 14-2 (.875) at Armstrong Stadium since the start of the 2002 season.

(3) Southern (7-2, 5-0 SWAC) vs. Texas Southern (0-9, 0-6)

The Jaguars must guard against a mental letdown against a winless Texas Southern squad this week. Southern ranks second in the conference in total offense (417 ypg) keyed by top ranked QB Thomas Ricks’ 279.9 ypg. WR James Vernon ranks second in reception yards at 85.2 ypg.

(4) Alabama State (7-1, 5-1 SWAC) vs. Mississippi Valley (3-7, 1-5)

The Delta Devils will look to end their season on a positive note against a versatile Hornet squad that has already sewn up a spot as the East division representative in the SWAC Championship game

(5) South Carolina State (7-2, 4-1 MEAC) vs. Morgan State (4-5, 3-3)

Look for a shootout between two of the league’s most explosive offenses. The Bulldogs will try to contain Morgan’s “BIg Show” QB Bradshaw Littlejohn, who accounted for six touchdowns in the Bears’ 58-28 win at Norfolk State last week.

(8) Bethune-Cookman (5-3, 4-2 MEAC) vs. Howard (4-4, 2-3)

After two straight road losses, the Wildcats look to get back to their winning ways against the Bison. The 27 passing yards last week vs Hampton were an all-time low for an Alvin Wyatt coached team.

Idle: (1) Albany State, (6) Tuskegee, (7) Arkansas-Pine Bluff, (9) Shaw, (10) North Carolina Central.