The Buddy System

By Tony McClean, BASN Editor In Chief
Updated: November 9, 2009

NEW HAVEN, Ct. (BASN) — With just two games left in the regular season, the Bulldogs of South Carolina State (8-1) are putting themselves in position for a MEAC title and a date in the NCAA playoffs.

Buddy Pough’s squad remains the No. 1 team in black college football for another week. Once again, they’re the unanimous choice in both of the BoxToRow.com/BASN coaches and media polls.

Winners of a MEAC-record 17 straight conference games, the Bulldogs will host Morgan State Saturday on Senior Day at Oliver C. Dawson Stadium in Orangeburg.

In the media poll, Prairie View A&M (6-1) and Florida A&M (7-2) maintained their positions as second and third respectively. Tuskegee (8-2) and Albany State round out the top five at fourth and fifth.

ASU (8-2) will be in action Saturday during the first round of the Division II Playoffs. The Golden Rams, who earned the No. 3 seed in the Super Regional, will host Gulf South Conference member, the sixth-seeded Tigers of West Alabama on Saturday at Albany Municipal Stadium.

ASU will make its sixth consecutive appearance in the Division II Football Championship playoffs and first-ever meeting against West Alabama. Last season, the Golden Rams fell to Tusculum College in the first round, 34-22.

Kick-off is set for 12 noon ET. The winner of the Albany State-West Alabama game will advance to the second round to face the No. 2 seed Carson Newman in Jefferson City, Tenn.

The rest of the media poll includes Southern (5-3) at six, Shaw (8-2) at seven, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (5-3) debuts at eight, Grambling State (5-4) drops to ninth followed by Morgan State (5-4) and Norfolk State (5-4), who are tied for 10th.

In another Division II playoff game also set for Saturday at noon, Fayetteville State (8-3) will travel to California, Pennsylvania to face California University of Pa.

It will be the Broncos’ first appearance since a 35-14 loss to Carson-Newman in the first round of the 2004 playoffs. The 2009 CIAA champions, FSU was awarded the No. 6 seed in its region.

The coaches’ poll also has Prairie View and FAMU sitting at two and three. The remainder of the poll includes Southern at four and Grambling State rounding out the top five.

Positions six through ten are Norfolk State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Alabama A&M (5-4), Morgan State, and Texas Southern (4-4), who debut at 10th.

Other key games this weekend include Alabama State hosting Southern in the 36th Gulf Coast Classic at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, North Carolina Central visits Winston-Salem State, and Florida A&M travels to Hampton in the Hall of Fame Game.

BOXTOROW.COM/BASN HBCU MEDIA TOP 10 POLL (Records through Saturday’s games) School W-L Pts LW 1. South Carolina State (12) 8-1 120 1 2. Prairie View A&M 6-1 117 2 3. Florida A&M 7-2 91 3 4. Tuskegee 8-2 75 6 5. Albany State 8-2 67 5 6. Southern 5-3 53 8 7. Shaw 8-2 37 10 8. Arkansas-Pine Bluff 5-3 33 NR 9. Grambling State 5-4 28 4 10. Morgan State 5-4 15 9 (tie) Norfolk State 5-4 15 NR Others receiving votes: Fayetteville State (8-3) 12, Alabama A&M (5-4) 12, Benedict (8-3) 4, Texas Southern (4-4) 4, Bowie State (6-5) 3, Hampton (4-5) 3, Morehouse (7-3) 2.

——————————————————————————- BOXTOROW.COM/BASN HBCU COACHES FCS TOP 10 POLL (Records through Saturday’s games) School W-L Pts LW 1. South Carolina State (13) 8-1 130 1 2. Prairie View A&M 6-1 113 2 3. Florida A&M 7-2 106 3 4. Southern 5-3 74 6 5. Grambling State 5-4 59 4 6. Norfolk State 5-4 57 8 7. Arkansas-Pine Bluff 5-4 55 10 8. Alabama A&M 5-4 48 5 9. Morgan State 5-4 21 7 10. Texas Southern 4-4 15 NR Others receiving votes: Jackson State (3-5) 6, Delaware State (3-5), Hampton (4-5), North Carolina A&T (4-5) 3, Bethune-Cookman (4-5) 1.