Since the day we released our inaugural preseason top 15 HBCU band poll last week, many folks have taken to social media to express their thoughts about our rankings.

Unsurprisingly, the comments made about our rankings varied; ranging from those who completely approved of the rankings, and even taking the time to officially acknowledge them, to some going so far as to simply call the rankings “BS”.

And that’s OK.

Because the rankings were only limited to 15 bands, it was understood that some very deserving bands were going to be left off of the list. We’ll even admit that the list was supposed to include 25 bands at first, but we reduced it to 15 just make things a little more interesting.

Conference Breakdown

Of the 15 schools that made the list of best HBCU bands in America, six are members of the SWAC. The MEAC had four schools listed, with the SIAC, GCAC and OVC each being represented by one. The CIAA was the lone conference not to be represented.

Since HBCU Sports has already published our list of the top 15 bands in America, we’ve also decided to publish our preseason band rankings for the CIAA, SIAC, MEAC and SWAC conferences from top to bottom.


  1. Shaw
  2. Virginia State
  3. Livingstone
  4. Winston-Salem State
  5. Bowie State
  6. Saint Augustine’s
  7. Johnson C. Smith
  8. Elizabeth City State
  9. Virginia Union
  10. Fayetteville State
  11. Lincoln U. (Pa.)


  1. Miles
  2. Albany State
  3. Morehouse
  4. Tuskegee
  5. Fort Valley State
  6. Kentucky State
  7. Benedict
  8. Central State
  9. Stillman
  10. Clark-Atlanta
  11. Lane


  1. North Carolina A&T
  2. Bethune-Cookman
  3. South Carolina State
  4. Florida A&M
  5. Morgan State
  6. Howard
  7. Norfolk State
  8. North Carolina Central
  9. Hampton
  10. Delaware State
  11. Savannah State


  1. Southern
  2. Jackson State
  3. Texas Southern
  4. Alabama A&M
  5. Alabama State
  6. Grambling
  7. Alcorn State
  8. Arkansas-Pine Bluff
  9. Prairie View A&M
  10. Mississippi Valley State

Now it’s your time to vote

We are sure some will disagree with our rankings. And we’d like to survey our readers – the “band experts” – to get input on how they’d rank each HBCU marching band within their respective conferences.  So take a moment to participate in our survey created for each conference.

CIAA Take the CIAA band survey!

SIAC Take the SIAC band survey!

MEAC Take the MEAC band survey!

SWAC Take the SWAC band survey!

We will publish the results on Tuesday, Sept. 1.


  1. This is awesome, great comments, I am so thrilled that nearly 40 years after I marched with the “MARCHING 110”, VIRGINIA STATE COLLEGE, we can even TALK about HBCUs. WE ARE STILL HERE! Keep the tradition alive! !!!!


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