BASN Black College Football Roundup: Week One

By Tony McClean
Updated: August 26, 2005

NEW HAVEN, Ct — While the first week of Black College Football will feature an abbreviated schedule of games, it will also serve as a eventful return to action for a former gridiron power of the recent past along with the return of one of black football greatest coaches.

The Central State (Ohio) University program will makes its return to the gridiron this weekend when they meet Lincoln (Mo.) University Saturday night in the Capital City Foundation Classic in Topeka, Kansas.

The long legacy of Marauders, now a Division II independent, includes seven appearances in the NAIA football playoffs from 1987 to 1998. CSU also took home three NAIA championships during that stretch.

Now following an eight-year hiatus, head coach Theo Lemon will lead a new Marauder squad against the Lincoln Tigers, who’ll have ex-NFL star Lamar Parrish set to make his head coaching debut that night as well.

Also this weekend, the CIAA will officially welcome back Saint Paul’s College to the football field Saturday following a 17-year absence. The Tigers, led by legendary head coach Willard Bailey, will travel to Silver City, New Mexico to battle the Mustangs of Western New Mexico University.

The Tigers have competed at the club level for the past three seasons, including a 7-0 record in 2004. Bailey, the former headman at Virginia Union and Norfolk State, returns to the sidelines as black college football’s winningest active coach with a mark of 211-112-7.

Ironically, the two restored programs of Central and Saint Paul’s will meet next weekend in the Dayton City Classic in Ohio. Given the quick success of Shaw University over the last three seasons, it may not be a long time before both of these schools become major forces on the field.

SATURDAY’S SBN TOP 10 SCHEDULE (rankings in parentheses) Miles vs (2) Albany State at Fairfield, Alabama The defending SIAC champs open up against conference foe Miles Saturday afternoon. The Golden Rams coming off the best year in school history including an undefeated regular season. ASU has lost QB Uyl Joyner, but RB Antonio Atkins is still a force on the Golden Rams’ offense. Miles finished 7-3 last year, just behind ASU and Tuskegee. They’re looking to jump into the league’s upper echelon. A win Saturday vs. ASU would be a good start.

Stillman at (5) Tuskegee The preseason pick to win the SIAC, the Golden Tigers will try to give the conference’s new Tigers a rude introduction into league play. Rick Comegy’s bunch just missed out winning the SIAC last year and will be hungry to get back to into the Division II title chase. Comegy enters the season three wins shy of 100 for his career. Stillman, 5-5 in 2004, has gone 34-23 under head coach Theophilus Danzy since the program returned in 1999. This is the first meeting ever between these two schools.

Carson-Newman at (8) Shaw The defending CIAA champs, who only lost two starters from last year’s squad, enter Saturday’s opener riding a seven-game winning streak. The Eagles, who return 13 starters, are a perennial power in the South Atlantic Conference and are the preseason pick to take the SAC. Since re-joining the CIAA three years ago, the Bears have gone 17-5 including last year’s Pioneer Bowl triumph over Tuskegee. CNU was ranked seventh in the ACFA’s Preseason Top 25 poll.

Edward Waters College at (10) N.C. Central Sporting a spanking new logo, the Eagles are hoping to ride the momentum of their first eight-win season (8-2) since 1996. The return of CIAA Player of the Year QB Adrian Warren (20 TD passes) and RB Greg Pruitt Jr. (1,103 rushing yards) will help an already potent offense. However, EWC can’t be sleeped on. The NAIA Tigers are coming off an 8-3 mark in 2004 and will should give Central a fight.

Idle: (1) Hampton, (3) South Carolina State, (4) Alabama State, (6) Southern, (7) Grambling State, (9) Bethune-Cookman.