As the season come closer to an end, the excitement raises as each game becomes more important for teams with championship aspirations.
In the SWAC, there are a pair of matchups featuring a potential conference championship preview and one of the most heated rivalries in HBCU football.
In the CIAA, the Northern Division will be decided when the top two teams in the standings go head-to-head.
Finally, one of the hottest teams in Black college football put its win streak on the line on homecoming.
Here are the five games to watch in Week 9 on Saturday.
Southern vs Jackson State (ESPN3)
In what could be a preview of this year’s SWAC championship game, Southern faces defending conference champion Jackson State.
There is a lot of excitement surrounding this marquee matchup with ESPN’s College Gameday hosting their pregame show from Jackson. It is the first time GameDay has been at an HBCU site since 2008.
Jackson State is looking to extend its unbeaten streak to eight wins and maintain its lead in the SWAC East.
Meanwhile, Southern is locked into a tight race in the SWAC West in which the separation between first and fourth place is just one game.
Although much of the attention on Jackson State has been given to Shedeur Sanders and their passing game, their run game has continued to get better due to Sy’Veon Wilkerson and Santee Marshall.
On the other hand, the Tigers defense will have Southern quarterback Besean McCray on their radar coming off a season-high performance against Virginia University-Lynchburg.
Chowan vs Virginia Union (HBCU GO)
The CIAA North could be decided this weekend when the Chowan Hawks travel to Richmond to face the division-leading Virginia Union.
A win by Virginia Union would secure a spot in the CIAA championship game against Fayetteville State.
A Chowan win, however, would put the Hawks in the lead in the division and need a win in the final week to ultimately put them in the conference title game.
The Panthers are not only looking to clinch the CIAA North but there is history on the line for star running back Jada Byers. The sophomore is only 100 rushing yards shy of setting the school record for rushing yards in a single season.
Tuskegee vs Kentucky State (ESPN+)
Tuskegee looks to cement a spot in the program’s first SIAC championship since 2017 when they face Kentucky State.
As it currently stands, Tuskegee is 5-0 in SIAC competition while Kentucky State has a 4-1 record. A win is critical for both teams to win the SIAC West.
Tuskegee’s offense is loaded with talent led by quarterback Bryson Williams, who is coming off scoring five total touchdowns in the team’s win over Lane. He is aided by a backfield tandem of Taurean Taylor and Donte Edwards.
Kentucky State is one of the top run teams in the country. The Throbreds are coming off posting 327 rushing yards and five touchdowns in a win over Miles.
North Carolina A&T vs Campbell
For the second week in a row, Campbell will compete in a high-profile HBCU homecoming game when they travel to Greensboro to face the North Carolina A&T.
Campbell had its three-game win streak snapped after losing 22-14 to unbeaten Jackson State.
Meanwhile, the Aggies are among the hottest HBCU football teams currently riding a four-game win streak including wins in their first two Big South contests.
They are facing a Campbell team that is also a perfect 2-0 in the Big South. However, Campbell has yet to win a game on the road and North Carolina A&T has yet to lose a game at home.
Alabama A&M vs Alabama State (ESPN+)
The 81st annual Magic City Classic commences in Birmingham.
Alabama A&M has gotten the best of Alabama State in recent years, currently holding a four-game win streak in the classic. Alabama State is looking for its first win over the Bulldogs since 2017.
If history is any indication, this has the makings of a high-scoring game. Since 2014, six of the last eight meetings have finished with a combined score of over 50 points.
This season, the Bulldogs are looking for their fourth straight win. They will rely on their big-time running back Donovan Eaglin, who has had three consecutive games recording over 100 yards.
The Hornets, on the other hand, are coming off a 24-9 win over Mississippi Valley State. They are looking to win consecutive games in conference play for the first time since 2019.