BASN Games Of The Week: NCAA Playoffs

By Tony McClean
Updated: November 24, 2006
NEW HAVEN, Ct. — They’ve both been atop of their respective conferences and BASN’s HBCU Top 10 Football Poll for most of the season. One team is undefeated and a two-time CIAA champion while the other has dominated the MEAC over the last three seasons.
On Saturday afternoon, North Carolina Central (11-0) and Hampton University (10-1), the only two remaining HBCU schools in the NCAA football playoffs, will both host a postseason game in hopes of advancing in their respective divisions.
Playing in the newly named NCAA Championship Subdivision (formerly the NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs), the Pirates will meet New Hampshire (8-3) in a first-round contest at Armstrong Stadium.
Currently ranked No. 2 in the BASN Top Ten and No. 9 in the Sports Networks Division I-AA Top 25, HU is making its third straight playoff appearance (fifth overall since 1995) and hosting its second straight contest.
Last year, Joe Taylor’s Pirates fell to Richmond 38-10 in a first-round contest at Armstrong Stadium. The loss snapped an 11-game winning streak and a 12-game home winning streak.
HU is 0-2 all-time versus New Hampshire.
On the other side, NC Central will battle Delta State (10-2) in an NCAA Division II South Atlantic Regional contest at O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium in Durham. The top-seeded Eagles won their second straight CIAA title two weeks ago against Elizabeth City State 17-14.
Delta State defeated ECSU last week to advance to Saturday’s second round showdown. Ironically, the last CIAA school to win an NCAA playoff game was Hampton, who defeated Albany State in 1995.
Last year, NCCU was eliminated on a last second field goal by North Alabama’s Beau Tanner in a 24-21 loss at Durham. Look for this to be a tough defensive struggle as both teams are ranked in the top ten (DSU eighth, NCCU ninth) nationally on the defensive side.
This is the first ever meeting between the two schools.
For the first time in a quite while, the winner of the Bayou Classic will not be headed to the SWAC Championship Game. It’s been a trying season for both Southern (4-6, 3-5 SWAC) and Grambling State (3-6, 3-4), but Saturday’s game will still be a game to see.
Following an eight-game winning streak by SU from 1993 to 2000, the Jaguars and Tigers have split the last six meetings. GSU won last year’s contest 50-35 in a game played at Reliant Stadium in Houston due to Hurricane Katrina.
The game will be seen nationally on NBC.