1. Is Winston-Salem State’s hostile takeover of the CIAA finally over?
The Rams dominance of the conference ended in last season’s with a loss to Virginia State in the CIAA Championship Game. WSSU will be without quarterback tandem Rudy Johnson and Phil Sims when the 2015 season starts. Sophomore Justin Johnson is the only QB on the roster with any game experience, though. Even though the offense will have its top rushers and wide receivers, the uncertainty at the quarterback position might lead to the Rams missing out the Division II playoffs for the second straight season.
2. Can Virginia State do it again?
They’ve been most successful team aside from Winston-Salem State in the CIAA over the last few seasons. A conference championship and a victory in the Division II playoffs last season is indicative of that. How well the team melds under first year head coach Byron Thweatt will be the barometer on whether the program can make another run at a CIAA crown.
3. Will Bowie State be a legitimate challenger in the CIAA North Division?
Bowie State went 4-1 in the North last season, but were 5-5 overall in 2014 because of their inability to win games late. With eight starters returning on defense to go along with senior QB Trevon Bennett, Bowie State could be primed to make a run if they can only just finish when it matters.
4. Can Kermit Blount change the fortunes of Johnson C. Smith?
The former Winston-Salem State head coach will have a tough task trying to turnaround a program that finished 3-7 last year and will be without their starting QB, running back and a bulk of starters on defense in 2015.
North Division Champion
South Division Champion