Arlington, Texas— Alabama State (6-1), tops the Urban Sports News Poll for the third week in a row after defeating SWAC West leader, Prairie View 20-7. The Hornets jumped out to a 17-0 halftime lead and never looked back. The Hornets are off this week and return to action against rival Alabama A&M (5-2) in the Magic City Classic.
Jackson State (5-1) drops to number three after an unimpressive 17-16 win over Mississippi Valley (0-6). Norfolk State moves to number two after an impressive 34-24 win over Hampton in the Battle on the Bay.
“The Alabama State defense is loaded with playmakers in the linebacker corps and secondary,” said John Posey, CEO of Urban Sports News. “Kejuan Riley, Leland Baker, and Saeed Lee headline a defense that limited an explosive Prairie View defense to only seven points. Add in the All-American candidate, Nick Andrews, at wide receiver and the Hornets are a difficult team to beat.”
Alabama State (6-1), Norfolk State (6-1), Jackson State (6-1), Winston-Salem State (7-0), and
South Carolina State (3-3) round out the USN Top Five for week seven. Albany State (5-2), Hampton (3-3), North Carolina A&T (4-2), Morehouse (5-2), and Stillman (6-1) round out the second five. Previously ranked Prairie View dropped out after their loss to Alabama State. North Carolina State debuts in the USN Top 10.
“I’d like to give some kudos to Coach Rod Broadway for proving, once again, why he is one of the top coaches at the FCS level,” said USN analyst Henry Bailey. “He’s won everywhere he’s been—North Carolina Central, Grambling and now North Carolina A&T. He won a national Black College Championship at Grambling and at North Carolina Central. The Aggies hadn’t won a homecoming game in seven years and only 15 games during that time. He’s not flashy. His teams run the ball, don’t make mistakes, and play solid defense.”
“I hate to keep beating up on Sheridan every week, but they mystify me with their ranking bias against the SWAC and smaller conferences,” added Posey. Jackson State has lost one game and that was to top-ranked Alabama State. South Carolina is 4-3 with a a shaky win against Bethune and a loss to Norfolk State, yet they are ranked ahead of Jackson State. Bethune is one week removed from a 22-3 loss to North Carolina A&T, but they are ranked ahead of the Aggies. Alabama A&M is ranked eight and has a 5-2 record, But Sheridan incorrectly lists the Bulldogs record at 4-2. Maybe they’ll get it corrected before ESPN posts on their Thursday night game. Stillman is 6-1 with a signature win over Tuskegee, yet Sheridan dismisses their record.”
This will be an important week for several teams as they face key match-ups that could make or break their post-season chances. Games to watch include: 1) Bethune Cookman vs. North Carolina A&T; 2) South Carolina State vs. FAMU; 3) and, Howard vs. North Carolina A&T.
||Alabama State Hornets
||Norfolk State Spartans
||Jackson State Tigers
||Winston-Salem State Rams
||South Carolina State Bulldogs
||Albany State Golden Rams
||North Carolina A&T
||Morehouse Maroon Tigers
Dropped Out of Top 10: Prairie View. Moving Up: Alabama A&M, Elizabeth City, FAMU, North Carolina A&T. Trending Down: Hampton, Prairie View.
Others Receiving Consideration: Alabama A&M, Bethune-Cookman, Elizabeth City, FAMU, Langston, Morgan State, Prairie View.