A host of decisions from the past week added some clarity, some confusion and some intrigue to conference races headed into the final month of the regular season. Among those decisions, the BCSP Top Ten saw its top three teams bite the dust.
In the CIAA, Virginia Union’s 33-14 homecoming win over Chowan and Bowie State’s 22-19 win at Virginia State’s homecoming sets up this week’s showdown between the two winners at Bowie (1 p.m.) for the North Division lead. VUU and BSU have identical 6-1 overall marks, 4-0 records in conference play and are both 2-0 inside the division. Elizabeth City State, Chowan and Virginia State are all two games back at 2-2. Also, this week ECSU is at Chowan’s homecoming (3 p.m.) while VSU is at Lincoln (1 p.m.).
In the South, the big news was Johnson C. Smith’s 37-20 upset of division leader Fayetteville State. FSU is now tied with Winston-Salem State atop the division at 3-1. Livingstone is a half-game back of the leaders alone in third at 2-2. The big game this week has Livingstone hosting WSSU Saturday (1 p.m.). FSU has winless St. Augustine’s for its homecoming (2 p.m.) while JCSU has its homecoming (1 p.m.) vs. winless Shaw.
East Division leader and defending league champion Alcorn State lost its first conference game 35-34 in overtime to Grambling State at the Alcorn homecoming. That decision coupled with Prairie View A&M knocking off Southern at the Jaguars’ homecoming changes the outlook of things in both the East and West divisions. Alcorn (3-1) is now just one game up on Alabama A&M (2-2) in the East. Both Alcorn State and Prarie View are off this week preparing for their Oct. 31 showdown in Baton Rouge. Alabama A&M is off this week and faces Alabama State in the Magic City Classic in two weeks.
Prairie View’s win has tightened things up in the West. Grambling is on top at 5-0 with Prairie View and Southern at 4-1 and 3-1 respectively. Grambling has its homecoming this week (2 p.m.) vs. winless Mississippi Valley State (0-7, 0-5). Southern plays at Texas Southern’s homecoming (2 p.m.) while Prairie View is idle.
North Carolina A&T’s 24-14 win at home over Bethune-Cookman coupled with Morgan State’s 20-10 loss at homecoming to Hampton leaves A&T (3-0) in sole possession of first place in the MEAC. B-CU and MSU are at 3-1 with three others – Norfolk State, North Carolina Central and South Carolina State – at 2-1. This week A&T has homecoming (1 p.m.) vs. winless Howard, B-CU has its homecoming (4 p.m.) vs. Norfolk State, SC State travels to winless Delaware State’s homecoming (2 p.m.) while NC Central hosts Morgan State (2 p.m.).
Albany State posted a big 38-0 shutout win over Morehouse and now sits at 1-0 in the East Division. The Golden Rams are just a game behind Fort Valley State (2-0). This week, Albany State is at Clark Atlanta’s homecoming (2 p.m.) while FVSU is idle. In the West, Tuskegee continued its stellar play with a 49-20 win over Stillman while Miles downed Kentucky State, 16-6. Miles and Tuskegee are tied atop the division with 2-0 marks. Miles will host Lane Saturday (1 p.m.) while Tuskegee plays (1 p.m.) at Kentucky State. BCSP TOP TEN
With losses by BCSP No. 1 Alcorn State, No. 2 Bethune-Cookman and No. 3 Southern, North Carolina A&T (5-1) moves into the top spot in the BCSP Top Ten for the first time this season. The then No. 5 Aggies 24-14 win over B-CU allows them to leap frog No. 4 Grambling who defeated Alcorn State (35-34). Grambling lost to B-CU 56-53 on Sept. 12. Grambling (5-2) takes over the second spot.
B-CU (5-2) is third followed by Alcorn State (5-2). Prairie View is 4-2 after its 47-42 win over Southern and is right in front of the Jaguars (3-3) in fifth. Tuskegee (6–1) is seventh followed by South Carolina State (3-3) and NC Central (3-3). Bowie State and Virginia Union are both tied for tenth at 6-1 headed into their aforementioned showdown this week in Bowie, Md.