For Now, S.C. State Is No. 1

By Tony McClean, BASN Editor In Chief
Updated: September 8, 2009

BTRC Poll NEW HAVEN, Ct. — Just one week after a full slate of black college football action this past weekend, the inaugural HBCU FCS Coaches Top 10 Poll already has a change at the top.

Following Sunday’s 34-31 victory over Grambling State in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge at Orlando, the Bulldogs of South Carolina have been tabbed as this week’s No. 1 team.

Buddy Pough’s squad received all but one first-place vote. Florida A&M, who opened with a win against league foe Delaware State, got the only other first place vote.

The Bulldogs (1-0) jumped to a 14-0 lead Sunday behind two touchdown passes from Malcolm Long and never trailed. However, SCSU needed an interception from Semaj Moody in the final minute to stop a late rally by GSU (0-1).

Saturday at 4 p.m. ET, SCSU travels to Daytona Beach to battle MEAC foe Bethune-Cookman.

As for the Rattlers (1-0), they rushed for 246 yards as a team (196 from Curtis Pulley) in the 21-12 victory against the Hornets. FAMU snapped a four-game losing streak to DSU (0-1) and gained their second straight season-opening win.

It will be a short week for Joe Taylor and his crew. Thursday night, they’ll travel to Winston-Salem, N.C. to battle the Rams at Bowman Gray Stadium. The game will be seen live on ESPNU beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The rest of this week’s top five includes Prairie View A&M (1-0) at number three, Alabama A&M (1-0) is fourth, and Grambling State, the preseason No. 1 team, who fell to No. 5. Saturday night, Anthony Jones’ Bulldogs will host Hampton (1-0), ranked sixth in this week’s poll.

The Pirates used LaMarcus Coker’s 29-yard touchdown run with 1:28 left to rally from behind in a 31-24 win against North Carolina Central in Donovan Rose’s head coaching debut.

The rest of the poll has Norfolk State (1-0) sitting at number seven, Southern (0-1) is eighth, North Carolina A&T (1-0) resides at number nine, and Jackson State (1-0) rounds out the poll at number 10.

Among top games this Saturday include Norfolk State at North Carolina A&T, Grambling State hosts Northwestern (La.) State at Eddie Robinson Stadium and Tennessee State battles Jackson State in the Southern Heritage Classic at Memphis.

The TSU-JSU game can be heard on the Internet at at 6:30 p.m. ET.

BOXTOROW.COM/BASN HBCU COACHES FCS TOP 10 POLL (Records through Sunday’s games)

School W-L Pts

1. South Carolina State (11) 1-0 119 2. Florida A&M (1) 1-0 102 3. Prairie View A&M 1-0 86 4. Alabama A&M 1-0 78 5. Grambling State 0-1 73 6. Hampton 1-0 66 7. Norfolk State 1-0 27 8. Southern 0-1 21 9. North Carolina A&T 1-0 19 10. Jackson State 0-1 18

(First place votes in parentheses)

Others: Alabama State (1-0) 14, Tennessee State (0-1) 11, Savannah State (1-0) 6, Morgan State (0-0) 3.