Coaches, Media Tab Hampton To Repeat As MEAC Football Champs

By Off The BASN Sports Wire
Updated: July 26, 2006

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Hampton University is the top choice by coaches and media to win the 2006 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference football title, as voted by the leagues Head Football Coaches and media.

The Pirates tallied six first-place votes in the coaches’ poll and 10 first-place votes in the media poll. Hampton finished 8-0 in conference play and 11-0 in the regular season in 2005.

They will vie for their third straight league title and their fourth appearance in the I-AA playoffs. Hampton returns 18 starters from the previous season, including last year’s offensive and defensive MEAC Players of the Year, running back Alonzo Coleman and linebacker Justin Durant.

South Carolina State was second behind the Pirates in both polls. They earned six first-place votes in the media poll and three first-place votes in the coaches’ poll. The Bulldogs finished 7-1 in the MEAC play in 2005.

Delaware State and Florida A&M tied for third place in the coaches poll and were fourth and fifth respectively in the media poll. The Hornets were 6-2 in MEAC play and 7-4 overall last season.

They increased their win total by three games since the 2004 season. The Rattlers lost seven starters on defense from a squad that was also 6-2 in MEAC play and 7-4 overall.

Bethune-Cookman were chosen to finish third in the media poll and rounded out the top five in the coaches’ poll. The Wildcats’ are stacked defensively with seven starters returning from last year’s campaign.

The 2006 MEAC football season officially tips off on Labor Day Saturday with eight of the nine MEAC football member institutions in action, including four Classics.

Defending MEAC champ Hampton headlines the list of opening day classics, as they take on Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) foe Grambling State in the second annual MEAC-SWAC Challenge on ESPN2 at Noon.

The first conference matchup of the year takes place at the Detroit Football Classic between Delaware State and Florida A&M on Saturday at 1 p.m.

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