Very Little Change In BTRC/BASN Poll

By Tony McClean
Updated: November 11, 2008

From the Press Box BASN NEW HAVEN, Ct. — With conference races starting to wear down and some NCAA playoff bids being handed out, the week’s HBCU Top 10 Football poll reflects that.

The top five teams from last week’s poll remain the same with some slight changes. As they’ve been all season, the Golden Tigers of Tuskegee (10-0) are still atop the poll following another win.

The three-time SIAC champions matched the longest winning streak in school history with a 55-21 homecoming victory against Lane College. The 26-game winning streak equals the mark set during the 1925-27 seasons.

They can break the school record for consecutive wins with a victory against arch-rival Alabama State in the Turkey Day Classic on Thanksgiving in Montgomery, Ala.

Tuskegee received 11 of this week’s 13 first-place votes. No. 2 South Carolina State (8-2) got the other two votes. The rest of the top five includes Grambling State (8-2) at number three. Prairie View A&M (8-1) and Tennessee State (8-2) swapped places from last week.

The Panthers’ 24-10 at Alabama State helped them move from fifth to fourth. TSU defeated Eastern Illinois 45-24 but fell from fourth to fifth.

The rest of the top ten has Bethune-Cookman (7-2), who debuted this week at No. 6, while Albany State (7-3) jumped from eighth to seventh. The Golden Tigers are tied at seven with Southern (5-4).

ASU was selected to play in a first-round NCAA Division II Football Championship playoff game for this Saturday. Ranked fifth in the Super Regional II, the Golden Rams (7-3) will travel to Greeneville, Tenn., to face fourth-ranked Tusculum College, who clinched the SAC last week.

The winner of the ASU-Tusculum game will advance to the second round to face top-ranked Delta State University Statesmen in Cleveland, Miss. Saturday’s kickoff is scheduled for 12 noon ET.

Florida A&M (7-3) and Shaw (8-3), who are both returning to this week’s poll, are ninth and tenth respectively. The Bears defeated Elizabeth City State 36-7 in the CIAA title game this past Saturday to give them their second consecutive league title.

Other key games this weekend are Hampton at Florida A&M; Tennessee State visits Jacksonville State; Prairie View A&M hosts Alcorn State; Howard at Bethune-Cookman; and Southern meets Alabama State in the 35th Annual Gulf Coast Classic at Mobile.

The FAMU-Hampton battle, which matches former Pirate head coach Joe Taylor against his former school, will be shown on ESPN on a tape-delayed basis. The 1 p.m. ET game will be aired at 10:30 p.m. ET by the network.


(Records through November 8)

School W-L Pts LW 1. Tuskegee (11) 10-0 130 1 2. S.C. State (2) 8-2 116 2 3. Grambling State 8-2 95 3 4. Prairie View A&M 8-1 86 5 5. Tennessee State 8-2 75 4 6. Bethune-Cookman 7-2 42 NR 7. Albany State 7-3 37 8 (tie) Southern 5-4 37 7 9. Florida A&M 7-3 26 NR 10. Shaw 8-3 19 NR

(First place votes in parentheses)

Others receiving votes: Fayetteville State (8-2) 16, Morgan State (6-4) 15, West Virginia State (7-3) 5, Jackson State (5-4) 4, Elizabeth City State (7-4) 3, Hampton (5-4) 3, Langston (8-2) 1.


Fort Valley State University head football coach Deondri Clark has asked to be relieved immediately of coaching duties and reassigned to teaching and staff responsibilities.

Clark stated: “As we have discussed, I believe that I have contributed substantially to rebuilding the Wildcat football program, but I also feel that the time has arrived for others to continue that rebuilding process.”

I wish them every success,” Clark added.

Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Terrance D. Smith granted Clark’s request. “Coach Clark stepped in as the university’s athletic director and head football coach at a time of transition. His services to Wildcat athletes and the university have been heartfelt and lasting.”

Smith continued, “We greatly appreciate what Coach Clark has accomplished at Fort Valley State, but we agree with him that the university’s football program can benefit from moving in a new direction.”

Plans call for Clark to assume instructional responsibilities in health and physical education; also play a key role in working directly with students in the Division of Student Affairs.

A national search will be undertaken to select Clark’s successor. Wilson E. Gossier Sr., FVSU’s interim compliance officer, will handle football operations until a new coach is named.

The Wildcats finished a winning season this past Saturday with a victory over Stillman College. Construction soon begins on a new football stadium and student amenities building to complement the football program. By next season, the team, alumni, students, and fans will have a new home and welcome a new coach.