Leading up to this week’s annual Southwestern Athletic Conference Media Day, HBCU Sports will forecast our preseason predictions for the upcoming 2015 season.
Coach of The Year – Jay Hopson– Alcorn State
Under head coach Jay Hopson — in his third season at Alcorn State — he led the school to its first SWAC East Division championship, conference title, and Black College Football National Championship.
Alcorn State, a program that had been stuck in neutral for so many years, head into the 2015 season ranked as high as No. 20 in some FCS preseason polls.
The complete turnaround can be credited solely to Hopson, who built the program from the ground up.
After his controversial hiring, and not much time to recruit or practice that first season, Hopson and Alcorn State went 4-7. The Braves shocked everyone in 2013 by winning nine games. You could see Alcorn coming, though. They were gaining confidence. They felt like they belonged in the same class as Jackson State, Grambling, Southern and Alabama State. No longer was Alcorn State pushovers.
In 2014, Alcorn State became bullies. The Braves pummeled almost every opponent during their historic season. The offense averaged 50 points a game. The defense was stifling. They were a legit championship caliber team. Hopson had his fingerprints all over it.
If the first three seasons are any indication, Alcorn State should be favorites to win the East again and even win the SWAC again.