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Tough dates await top teams in second week

BCSP Editor

There’s no sense in fooling with the BCSP Top Ten rankings this early in the season as the best black college teams, particularly those in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), are playing money games against mostly Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams. In translation, these are games that the HBCU programs are highly unlikely to win. But they are good measuring sticks as to gauge the talent and competitiveness of their teams. A highly competitive game means the HBCU program is among the better FCS teams. Blowouts mean they are unlikely to match up well with the top FCS teams.

But, at least the money is good! Take for example this week’s game between BCSP No. 1 North Carolina Central (0-1, 0-0), coming off a 49-6 thrashing at the hands of ACC-member Duke, travelling up to Kalamazoo, Michigan to take on Western Michigan in a 7 p.m. start. All Western Michigan did last week was upset Big Ten member Northwestern, 22-21. The Eagles can expect no break facing the Broncos.

Similar HBCU FCS vs. FBS foes Saturday include BCSP No. 2 Prairie View A&M (1-0, 1-0 SWAC), who squeaked out a 29-25 win over SWAC West Division rival Texas Southern Sunday, travelling to College Station, Texas for an 11 a.m. date with SEC power Texas A&M (1-0). Texas A&M knocked off Pac-12 member and 16th-ranked UCLA Saturday, 31-24. BCSP No. 3 Bethune-Cookman, No. 6 Grambling State and No. 7 South Carolina State also face formidable FBS opponents.

B-CU, whose opening game against BCSP No. 4 Alcorn State Sunday was cancelled in the first quarter due to dangerous weather, heads to Denton, Texas to tangle with North Texas (1-0) in a 6 p.m. affair. North Texas fell to SMU 34-21 Saturday. Grambling has the unenviable task of playing at Pac-12 member Arizona at 7:45 p.m. Saturday. The Wildcats are smarting from a 18-16 home loss to Brigham Young Saturday.

S. C. State (0-1) travels to Ruston, Louisiana to face Louisiana Tech at 6 p.m. La.-Tech was a narrow 22-21 loser to SEC member Arkansas Saturday. BCSP No. 5 North Carolina A&T (1-0) is also on the road Saturday (6 p.m.) at Kent State (0-1), a team that plays out of the FBS Mid American Conference (MAC). Kent State battled Big Ten member Penn State Saturday before succumbing by a 33-13 score.

BCSP No. 8 Southern (0-1) stays in state but on the road in New Orleans (7 p.m.) to face Tulane (0-1). The Green Wave dropped a close 7-3 decision to ACC member Wake Forest last week. Norfolk State and Hampton will have their hands full facing ranked FCS opponents. Norfolk State (1-0) goes up I-64 to take on FCS No. 2 Richmond at 6 p.m. The Spiders (1-0) pulled off a shocking 37-20 upset of ACC member Virginia Saturday.

Hampton (0-1) stays home for a 6 p.m. tussle with William & Mary (0-1), ranked 13th in this week’s FCS national poll. The Indians lost last week to ACC-member NC State, 48-14. In other key games, Tennessee State (1-0) and Jackson State (0-1) renew their rivalry in the 27th annual Southern Heritage Classic at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis (6 p.m.). Alcorn State has an early season SWAC East Division showdown at home (6 p.m.) vs Alabama State (0-1).

BCSP No. 9 Tuskegee (1-0) renews its annual battle for early season SIAC supremacy vs. Albany State (1-0) in the 3rd Annual Whitewater Classic in Phenix City, Alabama Saturday (5 p.m.). And, BCSP No. 10 Bowie State (0-1), coming off a 50-48 shootout loss to Seton Hill last week, stays home Saturday for a 4 p.m. CIAA contest vs. Johnson C. Smith (0-1).

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