Your BASN Guide To HBCU Football: Week Nine

Updated: October 28, 2016

By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus

NEW HAVEN (BASN) — As we approach November and the final trickling of homecoming games this weekend, only one division title has been decided within the four conferences of black college football.
With their upset victory over Tuskegee last weekend, the Thoroughbreds of Kentucky State (4-4, 4-1 SIAC) have clinched the SIAC’s Western Division crown (3-0) and earned a berth in the championship game on November 12th.
KSU’s win also handed the Golden Tigers (6-1, 4-1) their first loss of the season.
As for the Eastern Division title, Albany State (4-3, 2-0 in the division) will meet second place Benedict College (4-4, 2-1) in Augusta Saturday at 2 p.m. with the division lead.
The Golden Rams can clinch the division crown with a win and a Fort Valley State loss (1-1) at Morehouse’s homecoming on Saturday.
If both ASU and the Wildcats win, it will set up a showdown for the East Division title and a championship game berth between the two next week in their traditional season-ending Fountain City Classic game in Columbus, Ga.
With four schools (Bowie State, Virginia Union, Virginia State, and Elizabeth City State) all tied at 4-1 atop the Northern Division, it appears that the last two weeks will decide this race.
Two teams in the logjam — the Vikings and the Panthers — will battle each other Saturday at 1:30 pm ET in Elizabeth City’s homecoming. While ECSU defeated Chowan last week, VUU overcame a 21-0 deficit for the second straight week to knock off Bowie State.
BSU will visit Lincoln (Pa.) on Saturday while Virginia State will host Chowan.
The Southern Division race is pretty cut and dry compared to the North. Both Winston-Salem State (6-2 overall) and Fayetteville State (3-5) are tied atop the division at 3-0.
Regardless of the outcome of their games on Saturday — WSSU visits Shaw and FSU hosts Livingstone — the division title and berth in the CIAA title game will be decided next weekend when the Broncos hosts the defending champion Rams.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Grambling State (4-1) and Southern (4-2) are on a collision course. The Tigers and Jaguars are both tied for the Western Division lead at 4-0.
Prairie View A&M is just a half-game behind at 4-1. While GSU will host Arkansas-Pine Bluff for its homecoming on Saturday, Southern travels to meet Alcorn State (3-3).
GSU owns the league’s longest conference winning streak with 13 in a row.
Also on Saturday, the Panthers will travel to Jackson State (3-4) to meet the Tigers’ in their homecoming contest. JSU and ASU are tied atop the Eastern Division standings at 3-2.
The Tigers will travel to Alcorn State in their season finale on November 19th. A week later, Southern and Grambling State will meet in the Bayou Classic in New Orleans.
Speaking of logjams, it wouldn’t be a true season if there wasn’t a battle atop the league standings. N.C. Central (6-2, 5-0), N.C. A&T (6-1, 4-0), and South Carolina State (3-3, 3-0) are all still unbeaten in MEAC play.
The Eagles will be idle this Saturday as they prepare to travel to Delaware State next week. As for the Aggies and Bulldogs, A&T will host Florida A&M (3-5, 3-2) for homecoming while SCSU travels to Hampton (3-4, 3-2).
It’s not a stretch to say that once again, the season-ending tilt between the Aggies and the Eagles on November 19th in Durham will determine the MEAC race and a trip to the Celebration Bowl in Atlanta.
NCCU has defeated A&T the last two seasons, denying the Aggies the outright MEAC title and making the Eagles part of a five-way tie (with A&T, Bethune-Cookman, South Carolina State and Morgan State) in 2014 and part of a three-way tie (with A&T and Bethune-Cookman) in 2015.
Central won 21-16 last season in Greensboro and 21-14 in 2014 in Durham. Just recently, the season-ending contest was added to the MEAC’s ESPN TV schedule.
Stay tuned.
Entering Saturday’s game against Florida A&M, North Carolina’s Tarik Cohen is 699 yards away from the MEAC’s single-season rushing record with four games left. Who currently holds the record?
To say that 2016 has been a disappointing season for Alabama A&M and Alabama State would be a bit of an understatement.
However, while both the Hornets and Bulldogs enter this weekend’s 75th Annual Magic City Classic with dueling 2-5 records (2-4 in the SWAC), state bragging rights will still be on the line when they go at it on Saturday at Legion Field.
On the surface, it appears that this year’s contest will be a ground affair.
The Alabama State rushing attack is No. 1 in the SWAC with an average of 195 yards per game. A lot of that has to do with their talented senior tailback Khalid Thomas.
Thomas can become one of only six players in Alabama State history to rush for 2,100 career yards with four more rushing yards this Saturday.
He’s also 267 yards away from passing former ASU tailback Keldrick Williams, who rushed for 2,362 yards from 2003-2005 a former transfer of the University of Tennessee.
As for A&M, their ground attack is being led by freshman Jordan Bentley.
He leads all FCS freshmen in rushing touchdowns with 7 and he is also the third-leading rusher in the nation among freshmen at FCS schools with 576 yards and 82.3 yards per game.
His eight total touchdowns and 48 points are second in the SWAC while he ranks third in the SWAC in rushing yards and yards per game.
In A&M’s 40-7 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff two weeks ago, Bentley ran for 91 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown. For his efforts, he was tabbed as the SWAC’s Newcomer of the Week.
And his efforts have been recognized nationally by being named to the STATS FCS Freshman Player of the Year Watch List. The Guntersville High grad is among 17 players to be honored.
The game can be seen live on ESPN3 and Watch ESPN.
hbcu football hall of fame
The Black College Football Hall of Fame (BCFHOF) has announced its Class of 2017. Six inductees were selected from a list of 25 Finalists who had been determined earlier by the BCFHOF Selection Committee.

The Class of 2017 includes Parnell “Paydirt” Dickinson (Mississippi Valley State), Harold “Sunny” Jackson (Jackson State), Gary “Big Hands” Johnson (Grambling State), Robert Porcher (South Carolina State, Tennessee State), Isiah “Butch” Robertson (Southern) as player inductees and Coach Billy Joe(Cheyney, Central State, Florida A&M, Miles College).


“This class is another representation of the immense football talent that has played at historically black colleges and universities,” said BCFHOF Co-Founder and 2012 Inductee James “Shack” Harris. “All five players were college All-Americans, and three were first-round NFL draft picks.”


Votes were tallied from the 12-member Selection Committee, comprised of prominent journalists, commentators, and historians, as well as former NFL General Managers and executives, and from previous BCFHOF inductees to determine the Inductees.


The Class of 2017 will be honored at the Eighth Annual Black College Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Presented by the Atlanta Falcons on February 25, 2017.


The Induction Ceremony takes place at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia. The Inductees will also be recognized at the Celebration Bowl in Atlanta on December 17th.


For more on the Class of 2017, log on to




In 1984, Delaware State’s Gene Lake ran for 1,722 rushing yards, a MEAC record.


Anthony McClean can be reached via email at

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