Earlier this week, we revealed our Power Rankings for the FCS and Division II football. Over the next few days, we’ll take a deeper look at the contenders for conference crowns. Today, we take a look at South Carolina State.
Record: 5-3 (3-1 MEAC)
Key Wins: Furman, NC A&T, Bethune-Cookman
Key Losses: Coastal Carolina, North Carolina Central
Remaining Schedule: Savannah State (11/1), @ FAMU (11/8), @ Morgan State (11/15), Norfolk State (11/22)
Body of Work:
SCSU only put up three points against the same Coastal Carolina team that A&T outplayed a week earlier. Then it had to go to overtime to beat a Hampton team that isn’t ready at all. Then it beat A&T with a freshman QB, but only managed 13 points. Then it got smoked–at home–by North Carolina Central. Then it beat a BCU team that has struggled with Grambling and D2 Florida Tech.
Biggest Question: Does SCSU have enough offense?
South Carolina State is an above-average defense, giving up an average of 22 points per game. The problem is, it only scores 21 points per game. And if you take away its 63-0 win over Benedict, SCSU is averaging just 16 points per game against Division I competition.
Verdict: SC State is good…not great
So, why do we have SC State ranked behind A&T and Bethune-Cookman, two teams that it has beaten?
SCSU’s win over A&T came with freshman QB Hassan Klugh starting in place of an injured Kwashaun Quick. Having seen the team play with and without him, I can say with confidence that they are a different team with he and Tarik Cohen in the backfield. If the two teams met again, my money is on A&T.
While I’m not sure that Bethune-Cookman is that much better than South Carolina State, it does have an FBS win under its belt. Had SCSU won or even had a better performance in a loss against Coastal Carolina, perhaps I’d be persuaded to put them above BCU.