We are in the back half of the HBCU football season, so the sense of urgency is beginning to ratchet up with conference championship fever.
Here are the 5 Games to Watch in week 7 of the HBCU football season.
1. Alabama State vs. Jackson State
In arguably the most personal game on tap for this weekend, the Alabama State Hornets have revenge on their mind as they go on the road to face the Jackson State Tigers.
Last season, feeling disrespected for being scheduled as Alabama State’s homecoming game, Jackson State spoiled the party, winning 26-12.
Hornets head coach Eddie Robinson did not take too kindly to Jackson State continuing to run plays in the final seconds on offense despite being down by two scores.
This was reflected postgame refusing to embrace former Tigers head coach Deion Sanders beyond a handshake and proclaiming the infamous line “He ain’t SWAC” in a press conference after the game.
Fast forward a year later, and Alabama State has a chance to not only spoil Jackson State’s homecoming but they can also put any case of them contending for the SWAC East division title to rest.
2. Bowie State vs. Virginia Union
The Virginia Union Panthers will look to keep themselves in contention for the CIAA North division title when they host the Bowie State Bulldogs.
Holding a 3-1 record against the CIAA, Virginia Union is one game behind the undefeated Virginia State Trojans in the division.
With an impending matchup against Virginia State in the season finale, Virginia Union must remain unblemished to give themselves a chance to make that contest a win-or-go-home game for a spot in the CIAA championship game.
Meanwhile, the Bowie State Bulldogs are looking to play spoiler to the Panthers while keeping their long-shot hopes for a division title alive.
A loss in this game would eliminate Bowie State, keeping them out of the CIAA championship game for the second straight year, which hasn’t happened since 2014.
3. Norfolk State vs. Tennessee State
The Norfolk State Spartans want to play homecoming spoiler when they travel to Nashville to face the Tennessee State Tigers.
These teams have played better than expected, holding winning records against FCS competition thus far (TSU: 3-1; NSU 2-1).
While Tennessee State has only played one game at home, winning against Gardner-Webb, Norfolk State has been better on the road than at home, holding a 2-1 record (0-2 at home).
This will be a competitive contest between two teams who could be in the mix to play in the postseason in the FCS Playoffs and Celebration Bowl, respectively.
4. Allen vs. Albany State
The Albany State Golden Rams are looking to remain in the land of the unbeaten in the SIAC when they host the Allen Yellow Jackets.
Albany State is entrenched in a tight race at the top of the SIAC as one of three teams still undefeated in conference play.
Meanwhile, Allen is still technically in the mix to snag a spot in the SIAC championship game with only one conference loss to its record.
In addition to the conference championship implications surrounding this game, this will feature the number one passing offense in the SIAC (Allen) against the number two passing defense (Albany State).
5. Alabama A&M vs. Grambling State
The Grambling State Tigers aim to keep its head above water in a fierce SWAC West power struggle when they host the Alabama A&M Bulldogs for homecoming.
Grambling State is locked in a three-way tie for second place in the Western division, with Southern and Alcorn State each holding 2-1 conference records.
Alabama A&M, on the other hand, is still technically in play in the SWAC East, needing to play spoiler to Grambling and get some help to remain alive in the division.
History will be on the side for the Tigers, who have not lost to the Bulldogs on their home field since 2013 (they have won three straight).