Coaches vote SCSU gridders No. 1 in historic poll

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: December 21, 2009

NEW YORK (BASN) — For years, many entities have produced various HBCU football polls. For the first time this year, the coaches had a say.

One week after being named Black College Football national champions in the final HBCU Media Poll, the Bulldogs of South Carolina State representing the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, have now received that same nod from HBCU FCS coaches as well.

However, the coaches’ final vote was a bit closer.

In fact, only five points (145-140) separated Buddy Pough’s bunch (10-2) from the Panthers of Prairie View A&M (9-1) in the final FCS HBCU Coaches Poll presented by Classics Sports Radio Network released on Monday.

Both teams had been 1-2 for most of the second half of the season. SCSU had been tabbed as the No. 1 team in both BTRC/BASN preseason polls.

Both teams went undefeated in respective conference play with SCSU posting eight-straight wins against MEAC competition.

As a matter of fact SCSU has won 19-straight conference games dating back to 2007.

Prairie View A&M produced nine wins versus fellow Southwest Athletic Conference opponents including a 30-24 victory over Alabama A&M in the SWAC Championship Game.

Both teams did share one common opponent — Grambling State.

Ironically, both the Bulldogs and Panthers defeated the Tigers by three points. The two-time MEAC champions defeated GSU 34-31 in the season opening MEAC-SWAC Challenge in Orlando.

Just over a month later, the Panthers would nip the Tigers 35-32 in the State Fair Classic in Dallas.

It was one of the team’s signature victories in a season that saw them win their first SWAC title since 1964.

Florida A&M (8-3) and Grambling State (7-4) finished third and fourth in the poll. SWAC runner-up Alabama A&M (7-5) rounded out the top five at number five.

The rest of the poll included Norfolk State (7-4) at six, Morgan State (6-5) seventh, Texas Southern (6-5) eighth, Southern (6-5) comes in at nine, and Hampton (5-6) rounds out the top ten.

All 23 of the HBCU FCS coaches were eligible to vote on a week-to-week basis and in the final poll.

FINAL BOXTOROW.COM/BASN HBCU COACHES FCS TOP 10 POLL presented by Classics Sports Radio Network (Records through December 12) Rank School W-L Pts LW

1. South Carolina State (10) 10-2 145 1 2. Prairie View A&M (5) 9-1 140 2 3. Florida A&M 8-3 115 3 4. Grambling State 7-4 91 5 5. Alabama A&M 7-5 86 8 6. Norfolk State 7-4 70 6 7. Morgan State 6-5 44 9 8. Texas Southern 6-5 34 NR 9. Southern 6-5 32 4 10. Hampton 5-6 10 NR Others receiving votes: Arkansas-Pine Bluff (5-5) 7, North Carolina A&T (4-6) 4, Bethune-Cookman (5-6) 2, Mississippi Valley State (3-6) 2, Delaware State (4-6) 1, Alcorn State (3-6) 1.