Virginia Union William Davis
2020 Football

HBCU Football: Stretch run beginning in CIAA, SIAC

The season is halfway over for HBCU football programs at the D2 level. Big things are at stake this week.

The so-called ‘stretch run’ of the 2022 HBCU football season is upon us.

It begins over the next three weeks (depending on the conference). 

CIAA stretch run

For the CIAA, intra-divisional games – games between teams in the same division – begins this week as the regular season enters its final five weeks. 

This is when determining North and South Division champions in the CIAA really begins.

That’s the focus of our preview this week. The CIAA title game in Salem, Va. is set for Nov. 12.

Stretch run for SIAC and others

There is an almost similar schedule for the SIAC which will also stage its championship game on Nov. 12. True intra-divisional play will start up next week in the SIAC. Its title game will be played at the home of the East Division champion.

Conference play between teams in the MEAC begins in earnest in two weeks (Oct. 22). It gets started with the Norfolk State / Morgan State game this Saturday. Delaware State and Norfolk State will play only the second MEAC game next week (Oct. 15).

The SWAC is a little different. Teams in the SWAC will play inter-divisional games right through the Nov. 26 end of the regular season. The SWAC Championship Game will be played Dec. 3.

Handicapping the CIAA North

In the CIAA North, it usually comes down to three teams – three-time champion Bowie State, Virginia Union and Virginia State. It looks to be trending that way again this season. Virginia Union has had the best start.

Dr. Alvin Parker’s VUU Panthers (5-0, 3-0 CIAA) are the conference’s only undefeated team. VUU is currently ranked 12th in the AFCA NCAA Div. II Coaches Poll and 17th in the poll.

Virginia Union (5-0) is inside the Top 20 in both the AFCA (Coaches) and polls.

Virginia State (4-1, 3-0) and Bowie State (3-2, 2-1) are just behind VUU in the standings. 

Also in the North

In other North Division games, Virginia Union is at home in Richmond, Va. (12 noon) for its homecoming vs. Elizabeth City State (1-4, 1-2). Lincoln (2-2, 1-1) has homecoming (1 p.m.) hosting Chowan (2-3, 2-1).

Next week, VUU plays at Bowie State. VSU will host VUU on Nov. 5, the last week of the regular season.

Handicapping the CIAA South

In the South, Shaw (2-3) and four-time division champion Fayetteville State (3-2) both have 2-1 records in CIAA games. They appear on a collision course for division supremacy. They have a date in Fayetteville for Oct. 29.

After getting by Bowie State, Shaw fell to VSU last week 28-24 on a Trojans’ touchdown with :12 seconds left. FSU battled unbeaten Virginia Union to the wire on Sept. 24 but fell 31-28.

This week, FSU has its homecoming (2 p.m.) vs. winless Saint Augustine’s (0-5, 0-3). Shaw visits (1 p.m.) J. C. Smith (1-3, 1-2) in Charlotte (N.C.) and Livingstone (1-4, 0-3) hosts (1 p.m.) Winston-Salem State (0-4, 0-2) in Salisbury, NC.

Chennis Berry
Benedict College head coach Chennis Berry. His team is one of only four unbeaten teams in HBCU football.

This week in the SIAC

Chennis Berry’s Tigers of Benedict are the only undefeated team (5-0) in the SIAC, one of only four in HBCU football. But it is defending champion Albany State that continues as the league’s highest nationally-ranked team.

At 4-1, head coach Gabe Gardina’s ASU Golden Rams are tied for 22nd in the AFCA poll. They are 13th in the D2 poll. Benedict is not in the AFCA poll but is 24th in the D2 poll. Both Benedict and Albany State are in the SIAC East and will face off next week (Oct. 15) at Albany State’s homecoming.

This week, Benedict puts its undefeated record on the line hosting (2 p.m.) Miles (1-3, 1-0). Albany State is at Edward Waters (1-4, 1-3).

Lane and Tuskegee are both 3-2 overall and 2-0 in SIAC games to lead the West Division.

Lane, coming off a big win 28-27 in overtime vs. Tennessee State, hosts (2 p.m.) Kentucky State (1-4, 1-1). Tuskegee, who needed two overtimes to defeat Clark Atlanta Saturday, plays Morehouse in Birmingham for their Classic (7 p.m.). In previous years the Morehouse-Skeege Classic was played in Columbus, Ga.

HBCU Football: SWAC

Now we turn our attention to FCS HBCU Football. After a bye week, undefeated and nationally-ranked Jackson State (4-0, 2-0 SWAC E) gets back into action at homecoming (2 p.m.) at Alabama State (3-2, 1-1 E). JSU is ranked eighth in both the AFCA FCS and STATS Perform FCS Top 25. Jackson is also atop the HBCUGameday FCS poll.

Prairie View A&M (3-2, 3-0 W) is the early leader in the West Division. The Panthers have a key division game (4 p.m.) hosting Southern (2-2, 1-1 W).

Alcorn State (2-2, 1-1 W) plays (6 p.m.) at Miss. Valley State,  Grambling State (1-4, 0-2 W) is at Alabama A&M (1-4, 1-1 E) and Texas Southern (1-4, 1-2 W) is at Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s homecoming (2 p.m.).

Florida A&M (at S. C. State, 2 p.m,) and Bethune-Cookman (at Tennessee State, 5 p.m.) have out-of-conference games.   

Collis Pride of Norfolk State pulls in a catch. Norfolk State is one of several HBCU football programs without a win.

HBCU Football: MEAC

Norfolk State (0-5) plays at Morgan State (2-2) in the first homecoming game (1 p.m.) for new MSU coach Damon Wilson. The winner will have the early lead in the MEAC race. 

Games This week


Johnson C. Smith vs. Shaw in Charlotte, NC 1p

Livingstone vs Winston-Salem State in Salisbury, NC 1p

Lane vs. Kentucky State in Jackson, TN 2p

Missouri Southern vs. Lincoln (MO) in Joplin, MO 2p

Benedict vs. Miles in Columbia, SC 2p

Allen vs. Clark Atlanta in Blythewood, SC 6p

Edward Waters vs. Albany State in Jacksonville, FL 6p

Warner vs. Florida Memorial in Lake Wales, FL 7p

Ottawa vs. Texas College in Surprize, AZ 7p


Alabama A&M  vs. Grambling State in Huntsville, AL – HBCUGo 1p 

Hampton vs. Maine in Hampton, VA – Flo Sports 2p

SC State vs. Florida A&M in Orangeburg, SC – ESPN+ 2p

Prairie View A&M vs. Southern in Prairie View, TX – ESPN+ 4p

Tennessee State vs. Bethune-Cookman in Nashville, TN – ESPN+ 5p

Miss. Valley State vs. Alcorn State in Itta Bena, MS – ESPN+ 6p

Morehouse-Skeege Classic

Morehouse vs. Tuskegee in Birmingham, AL – ESPN+ 7p


Virginia Union vs. Elizabeth City State in Richmond, VA 12n 

Central State vs. Fort Valley State in Wilberforce, OH 1p

Morgan State vs. Norfolk State in Baltimore, MD – ESPN+ 1p

Lincoln (PA) vs Chowan in Lincoln Univ., PA – HBCUGo 1p

W. Va. State  vs. W. Virginia Wesleyan in Institute, WV 1:30p

Alabama State vs. Jackson State in Montgomery, AL  – ESPNU 2p

Arkansas-Pine Bluff vs. Texas Southern in Pine Bluff, AR 2p

Fayetteville State vs. Saint Augustine’s in Fayetteville, NC 2p

Savannah State vs. VA-Lynchburg in Savannah, GA – FloSports 3p

Virginia State vs. Bowie State in Ettrick, VA  – PRC Communications 4p

HBCU Football: Stretch run beginning in CIAA, SIAC
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