A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Hurricane Make-up Game To Settle SWAC West Division Title
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — One game remains on the SWAC 2004 regular season schedule. A game delayed three months by Hurricane Ivan (Sept. 18th) will decide the West Division representative at the SWAC Football Championship game on December 11, 2004.
Alabama State has won the East Division Title and a berth in the SWAC Championship game. Arkansas-Pine Bluff is a half game out of the lead in the West with a 5-1 record and a win would tie them with Southern’s 6-1 record.
Based on the 2004 SWAC Football Tiebreaker, Ark.-Pine Bluff would hold the tie-breaker over Southern due to their win over common division opponent Grambling State (41-22) and Southern’s loss to Grambling (24-13) last week. A loss by Ark.-Pine Bluff will give the West Division title to Southern.
Ironically, a Golden Lion win will allow them to face Alabama State the following week in the SWAC Championship game.
Notes: This game features the top two rushing and scoring teams in the conference. Arkansas-Pine Bluff, in eight games, ranks first in scoring offense (34.6 ppg) and rushing offense (210.0 ypg) while Alabama State, in ten games, is second in scoring offense (34.9 ppg) and rushing offense (197.0 ypg).
The Hornets’, however, rank first in rushing defense allowing 85.1 ypg, while Ark.- Pine Bluff is yielding 146.0 ypg (5th) in rushing defense. Alabama State is the top ranked SWAC team in total offense (421 ypg) and the Golden Lions rank seventh (308 ypg) in the same category.
Final team numbers show Ark.-Pine Bluff ranked second in total defense (295 ypg) and Alabama State ranked third (310 ypg).
Individually, four of the top five SWAC rushing leaders come from these two teams. Alabama State’s Keldrick Williams is the top ranked rusher (110.3 ypg), followed Ark.-Pine Bluff’s James Johnson (91.1 ypg – 2nd ) and Billy Moody (77.6 ypg – 3rd ). The Hornets’ Robert Randolph comes in fifth (67.8 ypg).
The Hornets’ would seem to have the advantage with QB Tavaris Jackson’s 220 ypg in total offense (3rd in SWAC), but the Golden Lions have all-purpose back Cedric Bowens’ 107 ypg in all-purpose yards.
Additionally, UAPB has had three weeks off to heal their wounds and sharpen their attack.