Complete black college football polls, Week 12: Nobody is getting past Jackson State in SWAC

Jackson State remains the highest-ranking SWAC program, and it appears unlikely that any league team can pass the Tigers — even as a postseason from which they are banned looms.

JSU was runner up only to Norfolk State in the Heritage Sports Radio Network Black College Football FCS Poll, and the Dr. Cavil’s Black College Major Division Rankings. JSU is one spot behind Norfolk State, champions of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, in the Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS Top 25, as well.

Only Alabama State, Grambling and Southern have regular-season games remaining in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Alabama State is the higher ranked of those remaining contenders, but is facing Division II Tuskegee; a win there is unlikely to leap-frog the Hornets over Jackson State. If Grambling were to best Southern this week, it would afford the Tigers a trip to the SWAC Championship Game — and, thus, two more games to move up the charts. But Grambling, which is sitting in the bottom end of the Top 10 rankings, appears to far back in the polling to get past Jackson.

Lurking in the weeds is Alabama A&M, who must wait for the outcome of the Grambling-Southern game to find out who it will play in the SWAC Championship Game on Dec. 10. They might just be the only credible challenger. The Bulldogs are ranked as high as No. 4 this week, within striking distance, but must win in Birmingham, Ala., for momentum. That’s easier said than done: Alabama A&M has advanced to five of the 12 previous league title matches (second only to Grambling for total trips), but has claimed just one victory — in 2006.

Jackson State was tops among SWAC programs at No. 4 in the Sheridan Broadcasting Network Black College Football Poll, too. That list, which also includes lower-division programs, again had Winston-Salem State at No. 1.

Here’s a complete look at black-college polls for Week 12 …

SHERIDAN BROADCASTING NETWORK BLACK COLLEGE POLL
Team, (first-place votes), record, points, previous rank
1. Winston-Salem State: (20), 11-0, 262, 1
2. Bethune-Cookman: (6), 8-3, 251, 2
3. Norfolk State: (4), 9-2, 199, 3
4. Jackson State: 9-2, 172, 4
5. South Carolina State: 7-4, 143, 6
6. Alabama A&M: 8-3, 96, 7
7. Alabama State: 7-3, 82, 8
8. Grambling State: 6-4, 73, 10
9. Florida A&M: 7-4, 47, 5
10. Hampton: 7-4, 36, NR
Others receiving votes: Morehouse 29, Miles College 27, Albany State 20, North Carolina A&T 17, Elizabeth City State 12.

HERITAGE SPORTS RADIO NETWORK BLACK COLLEGE POLL
Team, (first-place votes), record, points, previous rank
1. Norfolk State: (22), 9-2, 220, 1
2. Jackson State: 9-2, 198, 2
3. Alabama A&M: 8-3, 165, 4
4. Bethune-Cookman: 8-3, 162, 6
5. Alabama State: 7-3, 124, 5
6. South Carolina State: 7-4, 103, 7
7. Florida A&M: 7-4, 98, 3
8. Hampton: 7-4, 66, 9
9. Grambling State: 6-4, 40, 10
10. Arkansas-Pine Bluff: 6-5, 24, NR
Others receiving votes: None.

DR. CAVIL’S BLACK COLLEGE MAJOR DIVISION RANKINGS
Name, (record), first-place votes, points, previous week, last week and next week opponent
1. Norfolk State: (9-2), (8), 104, 1 (Did not play, NCAA DI FCS Playoffs)
2. Jackson State: (9-2), (4), 96, 2 (Beat Alcorn State 51-7, Season complete)
3. Bethune-Cookman: (8-3), (1), 85, 4 (Beat Florida A&M 26-16, Season complete)
4. Alabama A&M: (8-3), 83, 5 (Beat Prairie View A&M 17-15, Open)
5. Alabama State: (7-3), 68, 6 (Did not play, vs. DII Tuskegee)
6. South Carolina State: (7-4), 56, 7 (Beat Savannah State 20-10, Season complete)
7. Hampton: (7-4), 41, 9 (Beat Morgan State 42-18, Season complete)
8. Florida A&M: (7-4), 33, 3 (Lost to Bethune-Cookman 26-16, Season complete)
9. Grambling State: (6-4), 17, 8 (Did not play, vs. Southern)
10. Arkansas-Pine Bluff: (6-5), 15, NR (Beat Texas Southern 42-6, Open)
Dropped Out: Prairie View A&M (5-6). Also receiving votes: Prairie View A&M (5-6) 5, Howard (5-6) 4, Tennessee State (5-6) 3, Morgan State (5-6) 1.

THE SPORTS NETWORK/FATHEAD.COM FCS TOP 25
Team, (first-place votes), record, points, previous rank
19. Norfolk State: 9-2, 958, 20
20. Jackson State: 9-2, 778, 21
Others receiving votes: Furman 197, San Diego 124, Eastern Kentucky 106, Bethune-Cookman 96, Alabama State 72, Drake 57, Albany 55, Duquesne 52, South Dakota 52, Portland State 28, William & Mary 25, Cal Poly 20, Georgetown 20, Indiana State 19, Southern Utah 19, Murray State 18, Eastern Washington 16, Chattanooga 14, South Carolina State 11, Brown 5, Alabama A&M 4, Grambling State 3, Stephen F. Austin 3, Youngstown State 1.

ANYGIVENSATURDAY.COM TOP 25 for Week 12
Rank, team, total votes, first-place votes
19. Norfolk State: 506
24. Jackson State: 152
Also receiving votes: 32T. Bethune-Cookman, 44.

FCS Now did not have a Week 12 poll; Urban Sports News did not submit a poll this week.

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