2022 Football

Toughest 2022 CIAA football schedules

Bowie State has been the standard bearer in CIAA football for three seasons. Tough non-conference schedules have led the way to CIAA success. The Bulldogs face another gauntlet in 2022.

It is said ‘to be the best you have to beat the best,’ and that certainly is an adage that could apply in CIAA football.

Teams from the CIAA’s North Division have won the last four CIAA football titles – the last three by Bowie State (2018, 2019 and 2021) with Virginia State taking the crown in 2017. One reason could be that the North Division teams play tougher non-conference schedules than their South Division counterparts.

Looking at the schedules of CIAA teams in 2022, the same could apply.

Top of the heap

Bowie State (12-2, 7-0 CIAA) is the current conference kingpin as it enters its first season in 13 years without head coach Damon Wilson, who moved over to lead Morgan State of the MEAC. The Bulldogs are ranked seventh nationally in the Lindy’s Magazine Div. II preseason rankings and 10th in the Versus D2 college rankings that came out a week ago.

Former BSU player and assistant under Wilson, Kyle Jackson, takes the reins of the Bulldogs on an interim basis for the 2022 season. He inherits another tough non-conference schedule that will likely prepare the CIAA-favorite Bulldogs when conference play begins.

New interim head coach Kyle Jackson will navigate the three-time CIAA champion BSU Bulldogs through a challenging non-conference schedule as they seek their fourth straight league title.

Last year, after a close 32-24 loss on the road to MEAC member Delaware State to open the season, BSU got a hard-fought home win over Saginaw Valley State (28-19) and a road win at New Haven (27-13) before starting its CIAA schedule.

Jackson and Bowie State open at home this season on Sept. 3 vs. New Haven, ranked 18th in the 2022 Lindy’s preseason NCAA Div. II national rankings. New Haven’s loss last year to BSU came in a 10-2 season. The Chargers went on to win the 2021 Northeast-10 conference championship and then won a first round Div. II playoff game over conference rival Bentley. They lost in the second round to Kutztown, 10-7.

New Haven is the preseason pick to repeat as NE-10 champion.

A special date at SVSU

The Bulldogs then play at Saginaw Valley State on Sept. 10 before beginning CIAA play vs. Shaw on Sept. 17.

This year’s Bowie State game at SVSU will include a unique collaboration of common ground that will highlight the history and experience of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). BSU will combine with SVSU to offer several educational and cultural events in the days leading up to the Saturday football game, including appearances at SVSU by Bowie State’s renowned Symphony of Soul marching band, and joint programs hosted by faculty of both institutions.

“While our athletic teams and those of other HBCUs often compete against non-HBCUs in various sports, the experience is often limited to the athletic contest,” said Clyde Doughty, director of intercollegiate athletics at Bowie State. “This partnership between Bowie State and SVSU provides extraordinary learning opportunities for representatives of both schools and their communities. I am not aware of any similar ventures that have ever been undertaken.”

SVSU finished 7-4 a year ago. After its loss at Bowie State, SVSU battled eventual Div. II national champion and fellow Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference member Ferris State in a 47-45 loss. Ferris State went on to win the GLIAC title and beat Valdosta State in last year’s D2 championship game, 58-17.

SGSU was picked fourth in the GLIAC this year after a 4-3 finish last year.

There will likely be an indication how Jackson and the Bulldogs will fare without Wilson and departed quarterback Ja’rome Johnson and star running back Calil Wilkins, after these early games.

Bowie State in preseason rankings

Bowie State is picked seventh in the Lindy’s Magazine 2022 NCAA Div. II preseason poll. Riding a stingy defense a year ago, the Bulldogs got a 17-7 win over Fayetteville State to win its third consecutive CIAA crown. They then posted a 31-10 win over Lenoir-Rhyne in the first round of the D2 playoffs and a 13-10 win over Newberry in the second round to reach the national quarterfinals.

BSU lost to eventual national runners-up Valdosta State, 41-17 in the D2 quarterfinals. In its toughest CIAA contest in 2021, BSU staved off four TD passes from QB Chauncey Caldwell and over 200 rushing yards from Darius Hagins to pull out a 51-44 win over Virginia State.

BSU will play at Virginia State on Sat., Oct. 8.

CIAA football: N. Div. contenders

Virginia Union (6-4, 5-2), who finished behind BSU in the N. Div. last year, also has a tough non-conference opponent early. The Panthers, in their fourth season under Dr. Alvin Parker, travel to 2021 Div. II runners-up Valdosta State on Sept. 10 after opening at home on Sept. 3 vs. Virginia-Lynchburg. Valdosta State, who walloped VUU 51-7 a year ago, is ranked first or second in most preseason Div. II polls.

Virginia State (3-6, 3-4), with new head coach Dr. Henry Frazier III at the helm, opens on the road on Sept. 3 at Lenoir-Rhyne. The Bears finished 8-3 overall last year, 6-2 in the South Atlantic Conference behind champion Newberry. Both made the Div. II playoffs where they lost to Bowie State. It was the third straight Div. II playoff appearance for LRU. The Bears are picked second in the SAC and come in ranked 16th in the Lindy’s preseason poll.

Chowan (7-3, 4-3), who finished between VUU and VSU in the North a year ago, begins the season with home games vs. middle-of-the-road SAC teams Barton on Sept. 1 and Tusculum on Sept. 10. Mark Hall is in his second year leading Chowan.

CIAA football: South Division schedules

Four-time South Division champion and 2022 division favorite Fayetteville State (8-2, 7-0) is led by seventh-year head coach Richard Hayes. The Broncos open at home vs. UNC-Pembroke of the Mountain East Conference. The game is dubbed the Two Rivers Classic and is set for Sept. 3. They last met in 2016 with UNC-P defeating FSU 50-28. UNC-P was 6-5 last year, 6-4 in the MEC.

FSU follows that with a Sept. 10 date at home vs. Wingate, who finished 8-3 a year ago including a 40-21 win over FSU at Wingate. Wingate also beat Shaw 20-7. Wingate lost to Newberry and Lenoir-Rhyne in last year’s SAC race. The Bulldogs are picked third in the preseason behind Newberry and Lenoir-Rhyne.

Shaw (6-4, 5-2), the second choice in the S. Div., opens at Wingate on Sept. 3 before travelling to Wayne State on Sept. 10. The Wayne State Warriors are picked sixth in preseason GLIAC projections. Shaw is led by Adrian Jones, also in his seventh season.

Winston-Salem State (3-6, 3-4) also has an interesting start to its first season under Robert Massey now that his interim tag has been removed. The Rams open on Sunday, Sept. 4 in Canton, Ohio vs. Central State in the Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic.

The Rams then renew an old CIAA rivalry the following Saturday (Sept. 10) as they travel to Durham to face North Carolina Central of the MEAC. This will be the 46th meeting between the Rams and the Eagles with NCCU holding a slight 23-22 series advantage by virtue of last season’s close 20-13 triumph.

The schedules

NORTH DIVISION

BOWIE STATE

Date Opponent Time

9/3 New Haven 1

9/10 @ Saginaw Valley State 1

9/17 @ Shaw 1

9/24 @ Saint Augustine’s 1 

10/1 Livingstone (HC) 2

10/8 @ Virginia State 4

10/15 Virginia Union 12n

10/22 Chowan 1

10/29 @ Elizabeth City State 1 

11/5 Lincoln 1

CHOWAN

9/1 Barton 6

9/10 Tusculum 1

9/17 Johnson C. Smith 1

9/24 Winston-Salem State 6

10/1 @ Fayetteville State 7 

10/8 @ Lincoln PA 1

10/15 Virginia State (HC) NA

10/22 @Bowie State 1

10/29 @ Virginia Union 1

11/5 Elizabeth City State 1

ELIZABETH CITY STATE

9/3 @ Benedict 6

9/10 Livingstone in Rocky Mt. NC 4

9/17 Winston-Salem State 12n 

9/24 @ Shaw 1

10/1 @ Johnson C. Smith 1

10/8 @ Virginia Union 1

10/15 Lincoln (PA) (HC) 1

10/22 Virginia State 1 

10/29 Bowie State 1 

11/5 @ Chowan 1

LINCOLN (PA)

9/3 @ Delaware State 2 

9/10 @ Central State 1 

9/17 Fayetteville State 7

9/24 @ Johnson C. Smith 12n 

10/1 @Winston-Salem State 1:30  

10/8 Chowan (HC) 1

10/15 @ Elizabeth City State 1

10/22 Virginia Union 12n 

10/29 Virginia State 1 

11/5 @ Bowie State 1

VIRGINIA STATE

9/3 @ Lenoir-Rhyne 6 

9/10 Bluefield State 6 

9/17 Saint Augustine’s 6 

9/24 @ Livingstone 4

10/1 Shaw 6

10/8 Bowie State (HC) 4

10/15 @ Chowan ?

10/22 @ Elizabeth City State 1

10/29 @Lincoln (PA) 1 

11/5 Virginia Union 12n

VIRGINIA UNION

9/1 VA-Lynchburg 7

9/10 @ Valdosta State 5 

9/17 Livingstone 6

9/24 @ Fayetteville State 4 

10/1 Saint Augustine’s 1

10/8 Elizabeth City State (HC) 12n

10/15 @ Bowie State 1

10/22 @ Lincoln (PA) 12n

10/29 Chowan 12n

11/5 @ Virginia State 12n

South Division

FAYETTEVILLE STATE

9/3 UNC Pembroke 7 

9/10 Wingate 7 

9/17 @ Lincoln PA 7

9/24 Virginia Union 4 

10/1 Chowan 7 

10/8 Saint Augustine’s (HC) 2

10/15 @ Livingstone 1:30

10/22 @ Johnson C. Smith 1

10/29 @ Shaw 4

11/5/ @ Winston-Salem State 4

JOHNSON C. SMITH

9/1 @ Bluefield State 6 

9/10 @ Allen 6

9/17 @ Chowan 1

9/24 Lincoln (PA) 12n 

10/1 Elizabeth City State 1

10/8 Shaw 1 

10/15 @Saint Augustine’s 1

10/22 Fayetteville State (HC) 1

10/29 @ Winston-Salem State 1

11/5 @ Livingstone 1:30 

LIVINGSTONE

9/3 Catawba 6

9/10 Elizabeth City State in Rocky Mt., NC., 4

9/17 @ Virginia Union 6

9/24 Virginia State 4

10/1 @ Bowie State 2

10/8 Winston-Salem State 1

10/15 Fayetteville State (HC) 1:30

10/22 @ Shaw 1

10/29 @ Saint Augustine’s 1 

11/5 Johnson C. Smith 1:30

ST. AUGUSTINE’S

9/1 @ Tusculum 6 

9/10 Limestone 1 

9/17 @ Virginia State 6 

9/24 Bowie State 1 

10/1 @ Virginia Union 1 

10/8 @ Fayetteville State 2

10/15 Johnson C. Smith (HC) 1

10/22 Winston-Salem State 1 

10/29 Livingstone 1 

11/5 @ Shaw 1

SHAW

9/3 Wingate 4

9/10 @ Wayne State 6 

9/17 Bowie State 1

9/24 Elizabeth City State 1

10/1 @ Virginia State 6 

10/8 @ Johnson C. Smith 1

10/15 @ Winston-Salem State 1:30 

10/22 Livingstone (HC) 1

10/29 @ Fayetteville State 4

11/5 Saint Augustine’s 1

WINSTON-SALEM STATE

9/4 Central State in Canton, OH 4

9/10 @ NC Central 6

9/17 @ Elizabeth City State 12n

9/24 @ Chowan 6

10/1 Lincoln (PA)  (HC) 1:30

10/8 @ Livingstone 1

10/15 Shaw 1:30 

10/22 @ Saint Augustine’s 1 

10/29 Johnson C. Smith 1

11/5 Fayetteville State 4

Toughest 2022 CIAA football schedules
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