Complete black college football polls: Bethune’s stumble opens things up

Bethune-Cookman’s second-half collapse against Florida A&M reshuffled the black college football rankings, opening the door for previous No. 1 South Carolina State — and, on individual polls, undefeated Division II Albany State and SWAC West champion Texas Southern.

The respected Sheridan Broadcasting Network poll has a new No. 1 in Albany State, which will face Wingate after receiving a bye in the NCAA D-II playoffs.

Meanwhile, Texas Southern passed Bethune into No. 1 in the Dr. Cavil’s rankings. The Texas Tigers, who clinched their first-ever Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship Game berth, are ranked at No. 3 (Heritage Sports Radio Network), No. 4 (Urban Sports Network) and at No. 5 (Sheridan Broadcasting Network and Boxtorow.com/BASN) in the other major polls.

Elsewhere, South Carolina State reclaimed its early-season form.

The Bulldogs, No. 1 in the Boxtorow.com/BASN polls for the first five weeks of 2010, was again at the top spot after Florida A&M toppled previously undefeated Bethune 38-27 in the Florida Classic. Florida A&M made the largest jump in that poll, from No. 10 to 6.

South Carolina State was atop the final Heritage Sports Radio Network Division I-FCS Top-10 and the Urban Sports Network rankings, as well.

The Bulldogs held steady at No. 12 in the Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS Top-25 College Football Poll, while Bethune fell from No. 7 to 12. Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference co-champions, each earned a berth in the championship subdivision playoffs. Bethune plays host to New Hampshire, while South Carolina State travels to Georgia Southern.

Albany State was No. 2 according to USN — and, despite being off, dropped a spot to No. 3 on the Boxtorow.com/BASN list.

HERE ARE THE POLLS …

The Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS Top-25 College Football Poll
Team, (first-place votes), record, points, previous rank
12. South Carolina State 9-2, 1,796, 12
13. Bethune-Cookman (1), 10-1, 1,697, 7
24. Grambling State 8-2, 379, 25
Others receiving votes: Richmond 301, Florida A&M 237, Massachusetts 229, James Madison 188, Robert Morris 127, Texas Southern 123, Southern Utah 86, Jackson State 55, Old Dominion 48, Chattanooga 31, Central Arkansas 28, Sacramento State 28, Coastal Carolina 22, Eastern Kentucky 22, Elon 20, Northern Arizona 19, Harvard 17, UC Davis 15, McNeese State 14, Murray State 10, Weber State 9, Colgate 7, Yale 7, Rhode Island 6, Illinois State 3, Alabama State 2, South Dakota State 1, UT Martin 1.

Sheridan Broadcasting Network Black College Football Poll
Team, (first-place votes), record, points, previous rank
1. Albany State (19), 10-0, 268, 2
2. South Carolina State (11), 9-2, 247, 3
3. Bethune-Cookman 10-1, 223, 1
4. Grambling State 8-2, 196, 4
5. Texas Southern 8-3, 154, 6
6. Florida A&M Rattlers 8-3 139 8
7. Tuskegee Golden Tigers 8-2 108 5
8. Jackson State Tigers 8-3 91 10
9. Morehouse Tigers 8-3 67 7
10. Alabama State Hornets 7-3 42 NR
Others receiving votes (in order of points): Shaw 37, St. Augustine’s 29, Winston Salem State 25, Fort Valley State 23, Prairie View 18.

Heritage Sports Radio Network Division I-FCS Top-10
Team, (first-place votes), record, points, previous rank
1. South Carolina State (6), 9-2, 150, 2
2. Bethune-Cookman (10), 10-1, 147, 1
3. Texas Southern 8-3, 127, 3
4. Grambling State 8-2, 104, 4
5. Florida A&M 8-3, 103, 7
6. Jackson State 8-3, 84, 8
7. Alabama State 8-3, 49, 6
8. Prairie View A&M 7-4, 51, 8
9. Hampton 6-5, 32, 9
10. Norfolk State 6-5, 14, NR
Others receiving votes: Alcorn State 2.

Urban Sports Network Black College Football Poll
Team, record, USN comments in italics
1. South Carolina State, 9-2: Blasted North Carolina A&T 48-3 to win a piece of the MEAC title. Next up: at Georgia Southern in FCS playoffs.
2. Albany State, 10-0: Received bye in the NCAA Division II playoffs. Next up: Wingate
3. Bethune-Cookman, 10-1: Second-half collapse against FAMU ended undefeated season. Next up for MEAC co-champions: Host New Hampshire Dec. 4 in FCS playoffs.
4. Texas Southern, 8-3: Don’t look now, but the Tigers may be the best HBCU team in the country. Early season miscues lead to two losses. Should be 9-1. Next up: SWAC Championship Game vs. Alabama State.
5. Florida A&M, 8-3: Claimed sixth straight with 38-27 win over Bethune; held Wildcats scoreless in 2nd half to earn share of MEAC title. Season over.
6. Grambling, 8-2: Lost overtime thriller to Texas Southern 41-34. Next up: Southern at Bayou Classic.
7. Alabama State, 7-3: Off. Next up for SWAC East champions: Tuskegee at Turkey Day Classic.
8. Jackson State, 8-3: Won rivalry game 27-14 over Alcorn State. Season over.
9. Tuskegee, 8-2: Back in USN Top 10. Next up: Alabama State in Turkey Day Classic.
10. Shaw, 9-3: Lost NCAA Division II play-off game to Shepherd, 40-6
Others receiving consideration: Fort Valley State, Prairie View, Morehouse, Saint Augustine’s, Shaw, Winston Salem-State, Virginia State.

Boxtorow.com/BASN HBCU Media Top 10 Poll
Team, record, points, previous rank
1. South Carolina State (2), 9-2, 178, 3
2. Bethune-Cookman (7), 10-1, 171, 1
3. Albany State (10), 10-0, 170, 2
4. Grambling State 8-2, 136, 4
5. Texas Southern 8-3, 120, 5
6. Florida A&M 8-3, 90, 10
7. Tuskegee 8-2, 68, 6
8. Jackson State 8-3, 52, 9
9. Alabama State (1) 7-3, 34, NR
10. Morehouse 8-3, 33, 7
Others receiving votes: Shaw 28, Fort Valley State 10, Hampton 6, Prairie View A&M 2, Norfolk State 2, Virginia State 2.

The Dr. Cavil’s HBCU Major Division Football Top 10
Team, first-place votes, (record), total points, previous ranking, and next opponent
1. Texas Southern (8-3), (5), 101, 2 (beat #9 Arkansas-Pine Bluff 20-13; open)
2. Bethune-Cookman (10-1), (4), 98, 1 (lost to #5 Florida A&M 38-27; bye in D-I FCS playoffs)
3. South Carolina State State (9-2), (1), 92, 3 (beat North Carolina A&T 48-3; at Georgia Southern in D-I FCS playoffs)
4. Florida A&M (8-3) 89, 5 (beat #1 Bethune-Cookman 38-27; Season complete)
5. Grambling State (8-2), (1) 73, 4 (open; vs. Southern)
6. Alabama State (7-3), 56, 6 (open; vs. Tuskegee)
7. Jackson State (8-3), 40, 7 (beat #10 Alcorn State 27-14; Season complete)
8. Prairie View A&M (7-4), 31, 8 (beat Alabama A&M 35-14; Season complete)
9. Hampton (6-5), 23, NR (beat Morgan State 21-16; Season complete)
10. Norfolk State (6-5), 19, 10 (beat Savannah State 42-6; Season complete)
Also receiving votes: Arkansas-Pine Bluff 11, Morgan State 8, Alcorn State 7, Delaware State 6, Tennessee State 2, Alabama A&M 1.

Any Given Saturday Top 25 FCS Poll
Team, (first-place votes), points
12. South Carolina State, 526
16. Bethune-Cookman, 355

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