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BASN’S HBCU DESK, VOL IX
BASN’S HBCU DESK, VOL. IX
By Anthony McClean, Editor -in – Chief, Emeritus
NEW HAVEN, CT (BASN): It’s getting down to the nitty gritty in HBCU football. This weekend, division titles could be decided in the CIAA and SIAC. As for the SWAC and MEAC, the road to a conference championship is still a bit uncertain. In fact, six teams — all with one loss — are tied for the top spot in the MEAC with three weeks remaining.
WSSU, VSU ON A COLLISION COURSE — AGAIN
In the CIAA, Winston-Salem State (South) and Virginia State (North) sit atop their respective divisions with 5-0 marks and are in position to clinch a berth in the CIAA Championship Game in two weeks at Durham. A WSSU win at Shaw and a Fayetteville State (4-1) loss will give the Rams their fourth straight division crown. The Rams (7-1 overall) have won 34 straight against HBCU competition, including 29 straight against CIAA opponents. Their last loss came on October 30, 2010 — ironically against those same Shaw Bears (3-5 overall, 2-3).
The Broncos (4-4 overall) host Livingstone for their homecoming on Saturday. The Rams and FSU end the regular season against each other next week.
The Trojans (6-2 overall), fresh off their 63-7 spanking of Lincoln (Pa.), can repeat as division champs with a win over Chowan (1-7 overall, 0-5) and a loss by crosstown rival Virginia Union (4-1). VUU (6-2 overall) travels to Elizabeth City State (4-4 overall, 3-2) on Saturday and then return to Hovey Field next weekend for a season-ending showdown against VSU. The Trojans saw their five-game winning streak snapped last week falling to Bowie State 20-17 in overtime.
AN ALBANY STATE-TUSKEGEE REMATCH?
Much like the CIAA, both divisions in the SIAC could be clinched this weekend. In the East, Albany State (5-0) leads Fort Valley State (4-1) by a game with two weeks remaining. A Golden Ram win at Benedict College and a Wildcat loss at Morehouse will put ASU in the SIAC Championship Game. A win by both schools would set up a winner takes all showdown next week in the Fountain City Classic at Columbus, Ga.
It’s a similar scenario in the SIAC West as well. Tuskegee (5-0) and Miles College (4-1) are 1-2 in the division. The Golden Tigers can clinch the division with a win at Central State or a Golden Bear loss to Stillman College at home. With wins by both, the same winner takes all showdown will be played out next weekend when Tuskegee travels to Miles.
OTHER KEY GAMES
N.C. CENTRAL at BETHUNE-COOKMAN
The MEAC’s No. 1 offense (NCCU at 394.8 total yards per game) will go against the league’s top defense (B-CU at 249.1 total yards allowed per game) in a key showdown at Municipal Stadium in Daytona Beach. Both teams are 3-1 in conference play, however BCC is 6-2 overall and have won their last four meetings against NCCU (4-4 overall).
GRAMBLING STATE at TEXAS SOUTHERN
Following a bye week, the streaking Tigers (5-3 overall, 5-0 West) look to not only stretch their winning streak to six games, but to also remain unbeaten in SWAC play. They’ve been the league’s hottest team after an 0-3 start. TSU has been reeling after an ambitious 4-0 start. They lost three of their last four including home losses to Mississippi Valley State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff.