This week’s HBCU Football Rundown speaks of three teams that punched their tickets to postseason play last week and one remaining slot that will be filled in Saturday’s games.
Bowie State in the CIAA North, Fayetteville State in the CIAA South and Albany State in the SIAC East clinched division titles and championship game berths in their respective conferences with wins Saturday.
The last team to earn a spot in HBCU Div. II championship games will come out of the SIAC West Division and face Albany State for the SIAC championship game on Nov. 13. Three teams – Kentucky State, Miles and Lane – will go into the final week of regular season play this week tied with 3-2 conference marks and with a shot at the division title.
HBCU Football Rundown – Season-enders
Head coach Reginald Ruffin and Miles (5-4, 3-2 W), who have close wins this season over both Kentucky State (28-21) and Lane (34-31), clinch their third consecutive SIAC West Division title and championship game berth with a win at home Saturday (2 p.m.) over in-state rival Tuskegee (3-6, 2-3 W).
The Miles-Tuskegee battle is right up there with the greatest of season-ending HBCU in-state rivalries.
Columbus, Georgia is the site of another season-closing SIAC gem this week, the 31st annual Fountain City Classic, that pits Georgia in-state rivals Albany State and Fort Valley State (2 p.m.). Included among them is the Virginia State vs. Virginia Union showdown to close out regular season play in the CIAA this Saturday (2 p.m.). The upcoming in-state Louisiana battle between Southern and Grambling State on Thanksgiving Saturday (Nov. 27) dubbed the Bayou Classic brings a close to the SWAC regular season.
Before this year, NC A&T and NC Central closed out the MEAC regular season. That ended this year as A&T bolted to join the Big South Conference.
Miles vs. Tuskegee history
Tuskegee, under 16-year head coach Willie Slater, has won six of the last ten games with Miles. But Miles has won the last two and split the last six.
Ruffin, in his tenth year at Miles, spent the previous five years under Slater as defensive coordinator at Tuskegee. Since coming to Miles, he has turned around the rivalry once dominated by Tuskegee. Over the last ten years, Tuskegee and Miles each has won four SIAC championship games and represented the West Division (Miles 5, Tuskegee 4) in all but one of the title games. Ruffin’s Golden Bears have won the last two SIAC championships.
Miles will come in as the favorite after winning its last three games. Tuskegee has lost three of its last four. A Miles loss will open the door for either Lane or Kentucky State to take the West title and championship game berth.
Kentucky State hosts Central State Saturday (1 p.m.) while Lane plays at Benedict (3 p.m.). KSU has a 49-14 win over Lane in head-to-head competition this season.
HBCU Football Rundown – MEAC
Preseason MEAC favorite S. C. State (4-4, 3-0 MEAC) and second choice Norfolk State (6-2, 2-0) are both undefeated in conference play and could be headed for a season-ending showdown on Nov. 20. But each has a couple more hurdles to get there in a conference where teams appear to be evenly matched.
SC State is hosting Howard (2-6, 1-2) this Saturday (1:30 p.m.) while Norfolk State visits N. C. Central (3-5, 1-1).
Delaware State (4-4, 1-1) has just one loss in MEAC play and is still in it as it travels to Morgan State for a Thursday night (7:30 p.m.) game.
HBCU Football Rundown – SWAC
East Division leader Jackson State (7-1, 5-0 E) goes into its third game Saturday without head coach Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders. The Tigers, after surviving 28-19 at Mississippi Valley State last week, are hosting a dangerous Texas Southern (2-5, 2-3 E) team Saturday (1 p.m.). The game comes amidst new reports that Sanders’ name has been mentioned for another FBS job (at TCU).
HBCU Football Rundown – Independents
Perhaps the biggest game this week involves Tennessee State and head coach Eddie George.
While “Coach Prime” Sanders and Jackson State have been soaking up most of the headlines, first-year head coach George and his Tigers of Tennessee State (5-3, 3-1) have now won four straight games and sit tied for second in the Ohio Valley Conference.
On the flip side, NC A&T (3-5, 2-3) will be looking to break a three-game Big South Conference losing streak on the road at Charleston Southern (3-4, 2-3).
GAMES THIS WEEK
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2021
Delaware State vs. Morgan State in Baltimore, MD (ESPN2) 7:30 pm ET
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2021
Livingstone vs. J. C. Smith in Charlotte, NC 1 pm ET
Shaw vs. Saint Augustine’s in Raleigh, NC 1 pm ET
Lincoln (Pa.) vs. Chowan in Murfreesboro, NC 1 pm ET
Elizabeth City State vs. Bowie State in Bowie, MD 1 pm ET
Central State vs. Kentucky State in Frankfort, KY 1 pm ET
Lincoln (Mo.) vs. Emporia State in Emporia, KS 1 pm ET
Virginia State vs. Virginia Union in Richmond, VA 2 pm ET
Winston-Salem State vs. Fayetteville State in Fayv., NC 2 pm ET
Morehouse vs. Clark Atlanta in Atlanta 2 pm ET
Arizona Christian vs. Langston in Langston, OK 2 pm ET
West Va. State vs. West Liberty in W. Liberty, WV 2 pm ET
Lane vs. Benedict in Columbia, SC 3 pm ET
Edward Waters vs. Savannah State in Savannah, GA 5 pm ET
SW Assemblies vs. Texas College 6 pm ET
STREAMING GAMES (All on ESPN+ except one)
Alcorn State vs. Bethune-Cookman in Dayt. Beach, FL 11 am ET
Texas Southern vs. Jackson State in Jackson, MS 1 pm ET
Miss. Valley State vs. Alabama A&M in Huntsville, AL 1 pm ET
Gardner-Webb vs. Hampton in Hampton, VA 1 pm ET
NC A&T vs. Charleston Southern in Charleston, SC 1 pm ET
Howard vs. South Carolina State in Orangeburg, SC 1:30 pm ET
Norfolk State vs. NC Central in Durham, NC (ESPN3) 2 pm ET
Grambling State vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff in Pine Bluff, AR 2 pm ET
Tuskegee vs. Miles in Fairfield, AL 2 pm ET
Tennessee State vs. UT-Martin in Martin,TN 2 pm ET
Florida A&M vs. Southern in Baton Rouge, LA 6 pm ET
31st Fountain City Classic (ESPN+)
Fort Valley State vs. Albany State in Columbus, GA 2 pm ET
Webber Int’l vs. Florida Memorial in Miami, FL 1:30 pm
Alabama State vs. Prairie View A&M in Pr. View, TX (ESPN+) 2 pm ET