BASN HBCU Top Ten Football Poll: Week 13

By Tony McClean
Updated: November 13, 2006
NEW HAVEN, Ct.– With the long regular season winding down for some and the postseason ready to start for others, the month of November will prove to the best of times for fans and players alike in Black College Football.
Last weekend saw some teams in the BASN Top 10 officially punch their tickets for the second season while others put themselves in position to take a seat on the postseason express as well.
Fresh off their second straight CIAA Championship, the Eagles of North Carolina Central are still the No. 1 ranked team in the latest BASN Top 10 poll.
The only undefeated team (11-0) in HBCU football, NCCU needed a last-second field goal for the second straight year to secure the title.
Brandon Gilbert’s career-long 51-yard field goal with five seconds left split the uprights as time expired to give the undefeated West Division champion Eagles a stunning 17-14 win over East Division champ Elizabeth City State before a crowd of 11,562 fans at NCCU’s O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium.
The win also clinched a second straight trip to the Division II playoffs for NCCU, who earned a No. 1 ranking in the final NCAA Division II Southeast Region football poll.
The Eagles will have a bye and will host a second round contest of the regional playoffs on Nov. 25 at O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium.
While the loss by ECSU saw them drop in the BASN poll (from No. 3 to No. 6), the Vikings (9-2) have still qualified for the Division II playoffs as well SIAC champion Albany State (7-3).
For ASU, ranked No. 7 in this week’s BASN poll, its their third straight trip to the playoffs.
If Elizabeth City dreams of winning a Division II crown, they’ll have to make the trip to Durham once more. The fourth-seeded Vikings will host a first round contest against fifth-seeded Delta State University (9-2) on Saturday at 12 noon at Roebuck Stadium.
The winner of Saturday’s game will face N.C. Central the following week. This is ECSU’s first trip to the Division II playoffs since 1981, when the Vikings fell in a first round loss to Northern Michigan University.
Ironically the only other team to defeat ECSU this season, Newberry (S.C.) College, will host a Southeast Regional first round game this weekend as well.
The third-seeded Indians (10-1) will meet the sixth-seeded Golden Rams of ASU at 12 noon on Saturday. The winner will meet second-seeded North Alabama (10-0) in the next round.
The rest of the BASN top five includes MEAC champion Hampton (10-1) at No.2, Delaware State (8-2) third, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (7-3) is fourth, and Alabama A&M (8-2) at number five.
Mo Forte’s squad is on their way to its first trip to the SWAC Championship Game following a convincing 45-20 victory against Southern at Mumford Stadium.
Waiting for APBU will be the Bulldogs, who punched their ticket to the title game with a 35-26 win against Alcorn State. Both A&M and APBU have one more regular season contest before they meet each other in the title game at Birmingham, Ala. on Saturday, December 16.
In their only meeting during the season, the Golden Lions outlasted the Bulldogs 23-21 back in October.
As for Hampton, the Pirates have clinched at least a share of their third straight MEAC crown and the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs with a 59-7 win over Florida A&M in their regular season finale.
The Pirates have also become the first MEAC team since South Carolina State (1980-83) to win three straight league titles, their fifth crown under coach Joe Taylor (1997-98, 2004-06).
Delaware State can gain a share the MEAC crown with HU, but the Pirates’ win against the Hornets earlier in the year gives them the playoff bid. The Hornets, who’ll end the season at Howard in Washington on Saturday, are still hoping for an at-large playoff bid as well.
Rounding out the rest of this week’s BASN poll: Tuskegee (7-3) is eighth, Johnson C. Smith (7-3) returns to the poll at number nine, and Lane College (8-3) drops from eighth to tenth.
The Golden Bulls could possible face either Lane College or Tuskegee in the Pioneer Bowl. An official announcement on the teams participating in the game to be played in Charlotte on December 2nd will be made on Friday, November 17.
(Records through November 11th)
No. School Record LW
1. N.C. Central 11-0 1
2. Hampton 10-1 2
3. Delaware State 8-2 4
4. Arkansas-Pine Bluff 7-3 5
5. Alabama A&M 8-2 6
6. Elizabeth City State 9-2 3
7. Albany State 7-3 7
8. Tuskegee 7-3 10
9. Johnson C. Smith 7-3 NR
10. Lane College 8-3 8