South Carolina State extends MEAC streak, falls in FCS Top 25 anyway

South Carolina State remained atop the major HBCU polls, but slipped to No. 10 in The Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS rankings from No. 9 — despite defeating Norfolk State 34-13 on Saturday, a victory that extended its own MEAC record 21-game winning streak.

SC State remained No. 1 in rankings from the Sheridan Broadcasting Network, Dr. Cavil’s HBCU Major Division Football Top 10 and in both the Boxtorow.com/BASN HBCU coaches and media polls. The Bulldogs (4-1 overall, 2-0 in the MEAC) have only stumbled once this season, falling to the FBS Atlantic Coast Conference’s Georgia Tech in the opener.

Meanwhile, South Carolina State’s Saturday opponent, Bethune-Cookman, enters The Sports Network poll at No. 23. This is the first time Bethune (5-0, 3-0 MEAC) has been ranked in the FCS Top 25 since the final poll of 2003.

The Wildcats, No. 5 in the Sheridan poll of HBCUs, bested Delaware State 47-24 last week, helping quarterback Matt Johnson to MEAC offensive player of the week honors. He threw for 259 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 52 yards and another score, as Bethune claimed its first homecoming win in four seasons.

Grambling (4-1 overall, and 4-0 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference), which hasn’t fallen in FCS play, is at No. 2 according to Sheridan, Boxtorow.com/BASN and Dr. Cavil’s polls of historically black colleges and universities.

A perhaps underrated Hampton team is No. 6 in the SBN rankings, No. 5 according to Boxtorow.com/BASN and No. 4 in the Dr. Cavil’s poll. The Pirates’ critical Oct. 23 MEAC game at Dawson Stadium against South Carolina State will air on the ESPN famly of networks, likely ESPNU. There is still no word on whether that game will be broadcast live or on tape delay.

No. 3 Bethune-Cookman and No. 4 Jackson State (4-1) maintained their positions in this week’s Boxtorow.com/BASN HBCU coaches poll, as did No. 6 Alcorn State (3-2) — which is facing No. 1 Grambling this week. Texas Southern (3-3) moved up three spots to No. 7 and is now tied with Tennessee State (3-3).

Jackson also moved into the Sheridan polling after a critical win over Alabama A&M in the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s Eastern Division.

A LOOK AT THE POLLS

The Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS Top-25 College Football Poll
Listed by team, first-place votes, (record), points and previous rank
1: Appalachian State, 106, (5-0), 3,586–1
2: Delaware Blue, 29 (6-0), 3,472–2
3: Jacksonville State, 10 (6-0), 3,290–3
4: William & Mary (5-1), 3,160–4
5: Stephen F. Austin, 1 (4-1), 2,982–5
6: Villanova (3-2), 2,759–6
7: James Madison (4-1), 2,747–7
8: Massachusetts (4-1), 2,649–8
9: Montana State (5-1), 2,445–10
10: South Carolina State (4-1), 2,430–9

Sheridan Broadcasting Network Black College Football Poll
Listed by team, first-place votes, (record), points and previous rank
1: South Carolina State 30, (4-1), 300–1
2: Grambling (4-1), 265–2
3: Albany State (6-0), 203–3
4: Tuskegee (5-1), 182–5
5: Bethune-Cookman (5-0), 174–6
6: Hampton Pirates (4-1), 167–10
7: Jackson State (4-1), 109–NR
8: Winston-Salem State (6-1), 83–4
9: Morehouse (5-1), 71–8
10: Tennessee State (3-3) 54–9
Others receiving votes: St. Augustine’s 35, Florida A&M 33, Norfolk State 26, Shaw 21, Texas Southern 17.

Dr. Cavil’s HBCU Major Division Football Top 10
1: South Carolina State (4-1, beat #7-Norfolk State 34-13; at #3-Bethune-Cookman this week)
2: Grambling (4-1, beat Alabama State 22-7; vs. Alcorn State)
3: Bethune-Cookman (5-0, beat Delaware State 47-24; vs. #1 South Carolina State)
4: Jackson State (4-1, beat Alabama A&M 30-14; vs. Southern)
5: Hampton (4-1, beat North Carolina Central 27-13; vs. Norfolk State)
6: Prairie View A&M (3-3, beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff 21-6; vs. Lincoln)
7: Texas Southern (3-3, beat #4 Alcorn State 30-20; bye)
8: Alcorn State (3-2, lost to #10 Texas Southern 30-20; at #2 Grambling)
9: Tennessee State (3-3, lost to SE Missouri State 19-17; at Jacksonville State)
10: Morgan State (3-3, beat North Carolina A&T 27-14; bye)
Others receiving votes: Alabama State (3-3) 11, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (2-3) 8, Florida A&M (2-3) 6, Norfolk State (2-3) 5, North Carolina Central (2-3) 3, Alabama A&M (2-4) 1, Southern (2-3) 1. Dropped out: Norfolk State (2-3).

Boxtorow.com/BASN FCS HBCU coaches Top 10 football poll
Listed by team, first-place votes, (record), points and previous rank
1: South Carolina State 17, (4-1), 170–1
2: Grambling (4-1), 153–2
3: Bethbune-Cookman (5-0), 135–3
4: Jackson State (4-1), 121–4
5: Hampton (4-1), 109– 5
6: Alcorn State (3-2), 55–6
T-7: Tennessee State (3-3) 51–7
T-7: Texas Southern (3-3) 51–10
9: Florida A&M (2-3) 43–9
10: Norfolk State (2-3) 24–8
Others receiving votes: Prairie View A&M (3-3) 18, N.C. Central (2-3) 5, Southern (2-3) 4, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (2-3) 3, Alabama State (3-3) 3, Morgan State (3-3) 3, Alabama A&M (2-4) 2.

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