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BASN’S HBCU VIEW – WEEK SEVEN
BASN’S HBCY VIEW 2015 – WEEK SEVEN
By Anthony McClean, Editor – in – Chief, Emeritus
NEW HAVEN, CT (BASN) -- While the baseball playoffs are down to their “Final Four” this weekend, the contenders for HBCU football’s four conferences are also beginning to dwindle down to a precious few as well.
For many schools, it’s the long awaited Homecoming Weekend. However, it’s also shaping up to be a conference showdown weekend for the top teams in the MEAC, SWAC, CIAA, and SIAC as well.
Let’s begin in the MEAC. A year ago, five teams shared a piece of the league crown including the Bulldogs of Bethune-Cookman and the Aggies of North Carolina A&T. Both teams are still unbeaten (Bethune 3-0, A&T 2-0) in the league play.
They’ll meet each other in Greensboro on Saturday at 1 pm ET with a share of first place in the MEAC on the line. This will be the first meeting between the two teams since the Wildcats took a 28-12 victory over the Aggies on a 2012 Homecoming contest in Daytona Beach.
Bethune (5-1) is in the final stage of its three-game “Murderer’s Row” road stretch. Terry Sims’ crew has been perfect during the run with wins at N.C. Central (26-24 two weeks ago) and South Carolina State (17-14 last Thursday night).
Not to be outdone, Rod Broadway’s crew has put together two straight road wins as well heading into Saturday’s contest. The Aggies (4-1) pulled off a Virginia two-step by knocking off Hampton (45-31) and Norfolk State (27-3) in consecutive weeks.
Also on Saturday, Morgan State (3-2, 3-0 MEAC) will be seeking its first 4-0 conference start since 1979 when they host Hampton (3-3, 2-2) for Homecoming at Hughes Stadium at 1 pm. The Pirates haven’t beaten the Bears since 2012 in the New York Urban League Classic when HU pulled away with a 27-17 victory.
In the SWAC, defending league champion Alcorn State (4-1) returns to Jack Spinks Stadium after a bye week to host co-West leader Grambling State (4-1) in the Braves’ Homecoming at 2:45 pm.
This mid-season matchup between could have implications for the SWAC championship game in early December as both teams were tabbed as division champs during the preseason. The Tigers and the Braves go into the game with 4-game winning streaks.
The game can be seen on ESPN3 and Watch ESPN.
Also, the Jaguars of Southern (3-2, 3-0) look to keep pace with Grambling State as they host Prairie View A&M at 4 pm. The Panthers (3-2, 3-1) have the top offense in the SWAC at 489.8 yards per game and ranks second in scoring offense with 42.8 yards points per game.
Southern averages 33.2 points per game and 390.2 total offensive yards. The Jaguars are seeking to win two straight over Prairie View for the first time since a 16-game streak from 1989 to 2005.
The Panthers haven’t won in Baton Rouge since 2011.
In the CIAA, the battle for the Northern Division is still up for grabs. Virginia Union and Bowie State are both still unbeaten at 3-0, while both Chowan and Virginia State are right behind at 2-1.
VUU (5-1) will host Chowan (4-2) at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Hovey Field in Richmond. The Panthers hold a 5-2 advantage in the all-time series against Chowan and has claimed victories over the Hawks in each of the past two outings.
Virginia State (4-2) will host Bowie State (5-1) Saturday in a 2 pm contest at Rogers Stadium in Petersburg. BSU senior quarterback Trevon Bennett made thee most of his first start of the season.
He completed 21-of-32 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs offense in their 17-14 victory over Chowan. Saturday’s game can be seen live on the Aspire Network and the CIAA Network.
Finally in the SIAC, Albany State (2-3, 2-0 SIAC) comes off its bye week to host Morehouse College (3-3, 1-0) at 2 pm for the Golden Rams’ Homecoming. The Maroon Tigers will be looking to bounce back from last week’s 35-7 loss to Tuskegee.
As for the Golden Tigers (5-1, 4-0 SIAC), they tied a school record with five interceptions in the aforementioned romp over Morehouse. Willie Slater’s squad will play host to Stillman College at Cleve L. Abbott Memorial Alumni Stadium at 1 pm.
The Golden Tigers have won the last three games in the series dating back to 2012, while winning six of the first seven and hold a 9-1 overall series lead over Stillman. The game on Saturday will be the first of four consecutive games against the West Division for TU.
Tony McClean can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.