Alabama A&M, SWAC Champs
Photo: Alabama A&M Athletics

Despite winning its last six games and finishing the spring season as one of two unbeaten programs in the country, Alabama A&M seemingly has been unable to establish its place in FCS circles.

As of Monday, the Bulldogs were nowhere to be found in the FCS Coaches or STATS Perform FCS Top 25 poll.

AAMU, which is currently the reigning Black College Football national championship, did receive 56 and 17 votes, respectively in each poll.

The news did not sit well with Bulldogs coach Connell Maynor, who suggested Monday during the SWAC coaches media availability the team being on a bye week likely contributed to its place in the poll.

“That’s what happens when you’re an HBCU,” he said. “When you don’t play, you drop. If you’re one of them (FCS ranked opponent), you don’t drop. That’s where it is.”

Alabama A&M is ranked No. 2 in the recently released Ultimate HBCU Sports Football Poll and No. 1 in various other Black college polls.

Also read: SWAC announces Week 2 football Players of the Week honors

“When they (voters) do give us the respect and put us in there, we have to continue to win and keep trying to move up,” said Maynor. “If we don’t play, they’ll drop you out.”

Maynor went on to explain the predicament reminded him of a situation in 2013 when as head coach at Winston Salem State — lost out on a favorable seed in the NCAA Division II playoffs after the CIAA championship game was canceled following a pregame fight involving players from the Rams and Virginia State.

Winston-Salem State drew a No. 4 seed instead of a possible No. 2 seed as a result. It is a hard lesson that continues to shape his conviction that HBCUs need to establish success against non-conference opponents.

“We had won the region two years in a row. The third year, we were No. 1 in the region, and we don’t play in the championship game because we got in a fight and they (voters) dropped us down,” he said. “That’s why it’s important when we play outside the conference to have a good showing and to win football games, to show them that we can play with them and we can beat them.”


    • AA&M has been consistent. Progressing, Building, and Winning!! With us 💜💛 being moved to the West this shall be a very interesting year! Right @Auntie Anita

  1. Melanated people melanated teams have to work ten times harder at any & everything we do we’ve heard these things our whole lives no different in this situation.

  2. Keep fighting. You shouldn’t have to when you’ve proved yourself, but when you embrace you and don’t play their games this is what happens.

  3. This has been happening for years for HBCU’S in the FCS Black College Football has a different standard in the FCS(No Respect) because I have witnessed over the years how bias the FCS have been.Certain teams can lose 3 or 4 games and remain in the FCS Top 25 Poll, but a HBCU can suffer 1 lost and you are out of the Top 25

  4. Hopefully, situations like these stokes the competitiveness of AAMU to play at their full potential and prove our naysayers wrong.

  5. Truthfully, you can’t blame the polls. The SWAC needs to move the conference championship up so that they are eligible to play in the FCS playoffs. Start playing quality out of conference FCS teams stop playing money games to get clobbered by 50 points. I seriously doubt most teams in the SWAC could compete with a Montana, North Dakota State, Eastern Washington, etc. This is coming from a former HBCU player. It’s time to make calculated moves for the betterment of HBCU football.

    • There is a catch-22 with money games. If you don’t play money games like everybody else, including PWIs, you don’t have the funds to support women’s Athletics and stay title IX compliant.

      But with every “money” game you have to play it’s one less opportunity to play an FCS power.

      Everyone should know this by now. Either you get more donors to give, beef up your marketing budget to go after major sponsorship dollars or play money games. It’s as simple as that.


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