Anyone who has ever spent any significant amount of time on an HBCU campus knows that marching band, and all it implies, is a sport. Much like football.

There are summer high school band camps, hosted by college band programs, created with the intent to attract future student musicians. Just like football.

Of course, there are those preseason band camps where – just like football – musicians endure the summer heat for hours on end learning new music, perfecting formations and dance routines all in anticipation of the first halftime show that will ultimately launch a new season.

And as is the case with all sports, especially in football, there are preseason polls. The kind of polls we’ve already determined are meaningless in the greater scheme of things, but, yet, seem to always tug at the heartstrings that get the best of us all emotionally charged.

So, because we’ve determined that marching band is a sport, HBCU Sports presents the inaugural preseason top 15 HBCU band poll for 2015.

1. Southern
2. North Carolina A&T
3. Bethune-Cookman
4. Jackson State
5. Tennessee State
6. Texas Southern
7. South Carolina State
8. Alabama A&M
9. Florida A&M
10. Alabama State
11. Grambling
12. Alcorn State
13. Arkansas-Pine Bluff
14. Miles College
15. Talladega College


  1. Good Post. I like how this site incorporated the bands, as it is very vital to the history and tradition of black college football.

    I do have question, how is Talladega College ranked as a band, and they don’t have a football team?

  2. While all of these bands are great at what they do how on earth did you rank FAMU Marching 100 at 9. Now I’m a former member of the 100 Fall 91 Percussion section. I know from our misfortune that we didn’t fall off like that. We still are in the top 3 had that not happened we’d still be #1. Many other bands listed here benefitted from that terrible incident I saw how their numbers increased after our suspension. Mainly Tennessee State JSU & SU & BCU

    • Sorry, I disagree. SU numbers increased because of the outreach of the current band director and the success of the summer band camp. The numbers also increased because of the quality of the shows and the additional opportunities that the SU band have been involved with. These students would have come to SU no matter what. And if I’m correct, SU was ranked #2 in the country, behind Ohio State.

  3. who rank these bands ? Famu is coming off suspension is rank above ASU, ( Jackson State 1, BCU 2, ASU 3, Sothern 4, FAMU 5, ALA. A&M 8).

    • bruh, you got ASU and BCU above SU? I can welcome the argument for JSU based on an intense history but plz sit your crazy a$$ down fr # 2 and 3

  4. When you look at the many accomplishments of the Southern Band this past season (i.e. Mayweather fight), and it’s ability to present a solid show both in the stands and on the field, it’s no wonder that they’re #1.

  5. It would be great for us to have a set of criterion to use in rating the top bands. This will assure we’re all looking at same elements across all bands.


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