Arlington, Texas— Winston-Salem State becomes the fifth team to assume the top spot in the Urban Sports News Black College Poll with their 34-7 win over UNC-Pembroke and Jackson State’s 26-23 loss to Grambling. The Rams finish the regular season with a10-0 record and meet Elizabeth City State for the CIAA title on Saturday. Winston-Salem State finishes the season undefeated for the first time since 1978. The win also virtually assured the Rams of one of the six regional bids in their area to the NCAA DII playoffs.
“It’s one of our goals — going undefeated in the regular season — but we still haven’t done anything,” Coach Connell Maynor told the Winston-Salem Journal. “We haven’t won the CIAA and we’re not in the playoffs yet so we’ve got to continue to fight and get prepared. We have to continue to practice hard to get better.”
Winston-Salem State (10-0), Alabama State (7-2), Alabama A&M (7-2), Norfolk State (8-2), and Bethune-Cookman (6-3) hold the Top 5 USN spots for week ten. Jackson State (7-2), Albany State (8-2), Morehouse (8-2), FAMU (6-3), and Elizabeth City State (8-2) round out the next five spots in the USN Poll.
“This has been a crazy season with upsets dotting every week’s scoreboard,” explained Urban Sports News, CEO, John Posey. “There is more balance in the MEAC and SWAC than we’ve seen over recent years. I tip my hat to Winston-Salem State for making the long trek to the top of our rankings. They just win every week without a lot of fanfare. Grambling has come back from the dead and has an outside chance to win the SWAC West is Prairie View falters in its final two games and the G-Men win out.”
For the second week, a team with a chance to secure the National Black College Title saw its chances go up in smoke with special teams mistakes.
“Last week Alabama State had an extra point and field goal blocked. Saturday Jackson State blew its national championship aspirations with a muffed punt which led to Grambling’s winning touchdown,” explained Posey. “To make matters worse, JSU moved the ball to the Grambling 10-yard line, yet opted for one final play rather than calling a timeout and kicking a game-tying field goal. That might be one of the most mystifying coaching decisions I’ve ever witnessed. In fact, it may have been a career-changing decision regarding Coach Comegys’ tenure at Jackson State.”
Must-see games to watch this week include: 1) Winston-Salem State vs. Elizabeth City State; 2) Jackson State vs. Alabama A&M; 3) Norfolk State vs. Morgan State; 4) Prairie View vs. Alcorn State; 5) Albany State vs. Miles; 6) and, Grambling vs. Texas Southern.
|1.||Winston-Salem State Rams||10-0|
|2.||Alabama State Hornets||7-2|
|3.||Alabama A&M Bulldogs||7-2|
|4.||Norfolk State Spartans||8-2|
|6.||Jackson State Tigers||7-2|
|7.||Albany State Golden Rams||8-2|
|8.||Morehouse Maroon Tigers||8-2|
|10.||Elizabeth City Vikings||8-2|
Dropped Out of Top 10: Hampton. Moving Up: Bethune-Cookman, Grambling, Langston, South Carolina State. Trending Down: Hampton, North Carolina A&T.
Others Receiving Consideration: Elizabeth City, Grambling, Hampton, Howard, Langston, South Carolina State, Stillman.