Busy week shakes HBCU football rankings for ninth week

Only two of the top 10 teams held the same spot in the HBCU Power Football Rankings this week thanks to some turmoil.

This is done weekly throughout the regular season, as I sort every HBCU football team at the FCS level based on their performance. Nicknamed The Road to Atlanta, the weekly strength rankings lead to the annual meeting of HBCU football’s top two teams at this year’s Celebration Bowl in Atlanta.

Road to Atlanta: Week 9 of the HBCU Power Football Rankings

1. Jackson State | SWAC | 7-0 (5-0) | Previous: 1

Jackson State won its biggest Test of the season, beating Campbell 22-14. While the match wasn’t an attacking blast, quarterback Aubrey Miller Jr reminded everyone why he’s one of the best players in the FCS with 13 tackles and a sack.

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2. South | SWAC | 5-2 (3-1) | Previous: 2

Southern handled its homecoming business against a non-NCAA team. Next, the Jaguar encounters Jackson State on the road.

3. Florida A&M | SWAC | 5-2 (3-1) | Previous: 5

Farewell to Florida A&M last week.

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4. A&M Prairie Show | SWAC | 4-3 (3-1) | Previous: 6

Prairie View A&M took a non-conference win over unwinnable Lamar 54-21. The Panthers still need help getting back to the top of SWAC West, but they’re not playing a team with a winning record for the remainder of the season.

5. North Carolina A&T | Great South | 4-3 (2-0) | Previous: 9

North Carolina A&T moves into the top five in the strength rankings this week after starting 2-0 in the Big South play. The Aggies stay ahead of South Carolina thanks to a head-to-head win. The Aggies are also moving against North Carolina Central because a lot has changed since the first week’s loss. North Carolina A&T looks like a completely different team, winning four games in a row.

6. South Carolina | MEAC | 3-4 (1-0) | Previous: 10

Just like last year, South Carolina State showed that a poor start to the season meant nothing once team play began, defeating North Carolina Central 26-24. Shaquan Davis’ wide receiver seemed defenseless against the Eagles.

7. Central North Carolina | MEAC | 5-2 (1-1) | Previous: 3

North Carolina Central falls in the standings after losing to South Carolina State. The Eagles have lost two of their last three games, and are no longer in control of their way to the Celebration Bowl.

8. Alabama | SWAC | 4-3 (2-2) | Previous: 11

Alabama needed it most last week, providing recovery time ahead of the Magic City Classic.

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9. Southern Texas | SWAC | 3-4 (3-2) | Previous: 12

Southern Texas took a big win, defeating Alcorn State 34-27. Record win within reach of the Tigers this season.

10. Hampton | CAA | 4-3 (1-3) | Previous: 7

Hampton lost to Richmond 41-10 in the CAA Battle. The pirates have some work to do before they reach the upper echelon of their new conference.

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11. Korn State | SWAC | 3-4 (2-2) | Previous: 4

Alcorn State couldn’t protect the football, throwing three interceptions in a South Texas loss. After leading SWAC West, the Braves have now lost two consecutive games to SWAC West.

12. Delaware | MEAC | 4-3 (1-1) | Previous: 8

Delaware couldn’t spoil Howard’s homecoming, falling to the bison. Hornets fall from the top 10.

13. Alabama A&M | SWAC | 2-4 (2-1) | Previous: 13

Alabama A&M had a goodbye last week. The Bulldogs Magic City Classic enters a three-game winning streak.

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14. Tennessee | OVC | 3-4 (2-0) | Previous: 14

Tennessee State has now won two games in a row, but a DII loss prevents the Tigers from rising for the time being.

15. Python Cockman | SWAC | 2-5 (2-2) | Previous: 17

Bethune-Cookman is a two-time FCS winner after defeating Mississippi Valley State. The other two FCS HBCUs win one FCS win.

16. Howard | MEAC | 2-5 (1-0) | Previous: 16

Howard claimed his second win of the season, beating Delaware State during Bison’s homecoming. Entering Week 9, Howard is tied for first place in MEAC.

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T-17. Morgan State | MEAC | 2-5 (0-2) | Previous: 15

Morgan State lost to a ranked team in Delaware.

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T-17. Norfolk | MEAC | 1-6 (1-1) | Previous: 18

Norfolk bid farewell last week. However, the Spartans go on to tie for 17th thanks to a head-to-head win over Morgan State.

19. Grambling State | SWAC | 1-6 (0-4) | Previous: 19

Farewell to Grambling State last week.

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20. Arkansas Pine Bluff | SWAC | 2-4 (0-3) | Previous: 20

Arkansas-Pine Bluff bid farewell last week, sacking its head coach during the period.

21. Mississippi Valley State | SWAC | 0-8 (0-5) | Previous: 21

The Mississippi Valley State lost last week to Bethune-Cookman, but the Delta Devils scored 35 points, their highest total of the season.

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