We are coming down the home stretch in college football. Conference championships and postseason hopes are on the line for SWAC, MEAC, SIAC, CIAA, OVC, and Big South teams.
The SWAC and MEAC are in highly contested conference races. Let's see who are the HBCU Legends' Top 5 Power Teams ahead of Week 11.
HBCU TOP 5 POWER RANKINGS - WEEK 11
#1 - Jackson State (8-1)
JSU showed TSU they were indeed the real Tiger Kings on Saturday. The Texas Southern team had no intentions conceding to Jackson State and went blow-by-blow with the No. 1 ranked Tigers. In the end, Shedeur Sanders and his ferocious maulers dispensed of Andrew Body's gang and sent them packing back to Houston, TX.
JSU must put an end to the slow starts with Southern and Alcorn remaining on its schedule.
Coach Harrell was positive with the media while speaking of Coach Sanders' possible return to the sidelines. Still, it seems doubtful that a trip to Baton Rouge will be on his schedule. Expect a fourth-straight "PRIME-LESS" game for the Tigers.
#2 - Prairie View (7-1)
The Panther's Homecoming celebration took out the stingers of the Alabama State Hornets! Prairie View (7-1, 5-0 SWAC) squashed the Hornets' attempt to be spoilers on Saturday and needed two 4th quarter touchdowns to win by a final score of 24-20.
The 6,100+ fans watched Jawon Pass throw for 171 yards and rush for a pair of touchdowns as the PV faithful witnessed a thriller on The Hill!
Coach Dooley was humbled at the SWAC presser when he heard the news that his team was ranked No. 24 in the STATS PERFORM FCS TOP 25 teams. Congratulations Panthers!
The celebrations will be short-lived as the Panthers prepare for a trip to battle the Alcorn State Braves in Lorman, Mississippi. The contest will be a potential SWAC West division championship-deciding showdown for Prairie View.
A win would propel them into the 2021 Cricket SWAC Championship contest with the SWAC East winner.
Alcorn poses as the toughest opponent for the Panthers this season.
It should be an exciting battle of Purple and Gold!
#3 - Florida A&M (7-2)
The Rattlers aren't done yet! Coach Simmons motored along I-10 to Baton Rouge to confront Southern on Saturday evening at Mumford Stadium. FAMU cruised back to Tallahassee after registering a 29-17 convincing win over the Jaguars.
Nearly 16,000 were in attendance and watched the Rattlers' defense shut out the Jags' offense in the second half. Quarterback Rasean McKay was 15/26 and 231 yards passing for two touchdowns in the victory. Bonnett Bishop rumbled for 106 yards, and Jah'Marae Sheread scored a receiving touchdown to aid the Rattlers' cause in Louisiana.
FAMU will pay a visit to Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Saturday, Nov. 13, and end the season with their annual rumble with Bethune-Cookman on Nov. 20.
The Rattlers have one of the easier but also one of the most dangerous schedules ahead. BCU upset Alcorn, and UAPB knocked-off Grambling in Week 10.
Two additional wins could place FAMU in a postseason contest.
#4 - Bowie State (9-1)
The Bulldogs annihilated the Elizabeth City State University, 79-6 in Week 10. The win was so devastating that ESSU's head coach Anthony Jones lost his job on Monday.
Bowie State continues to field an excellent program in Bowie, Maryland. Coach
The Bulldogs of Bowie State University (9-1, 7-0 CIAA) will face the Broncos of Fayetteville State University (8-1, 7-0 CIAA) on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 1 PM ET in Salem, Va., at Salem Stadium for the CIAA Football Championship.
It's the two squads' third meeting in the championship game; who will come out the victor?
Norfolk State (6-3)
My colleagues in covering HBCU media may disagree with my assessment of the Spartans. NCCU is not a bad football team. They beat Alcorn State in the SWAC/MEAC Challenge this past August to open the college football season. On Saturday, Norfolk squandered a 21 point lead at NCCU's Homecoming celebration and fell in overtime, 38-36.
The loss ended a six-game winning streak for the Spartans, but it will not prevent NSU from battling South Carolina State for the MEAC title.
With that said, I believe neither Bowie State and Albany State in a face-to-face battle with the Spartans could beat them a majority of the time. NSU is a better team.
This is why they remain in my top five. However, I do have a few teams on the radar and potentially sneaking into the top five if anyone should slip in the next few weeks.
Teams to Watch
- Albany State (9-1)
- Fayetteville State (8-1)
- Alabama A&M (5-3)
- South Carolina State (5-4)
- Tennessee State (5-4)