Eight weeks are now in the books in HBCU football, and things only get bigger from here on out. Especially in the Division II ranks.
With two weeks left in the D-II regular season, one of the four championship finalists in the SIAC and CIAA have punched their ticket, and its an unlikely one. Kentucky State University will represent the SIAC West in the championship game after upsetting previously unbeaten Tuskegee, 10-9, in a homecoming thriller.
The other spot in the SIAC Championship Game is still up for grabs heading into Week Nine, but a matchup in Columbia, SC could go a long way to determining who will face KYSU. Albany State will travel to face Benedict, who could clinch the SIAC East title by virtue of a 3-1 record and having beaten ASU.
An ASU win could give them the title, but could also lead to a de facto East Division championship the following week when they play Fort Valley State, who needs to win out to get to the title game.
Whew. That’s a lot, right? Lets hop over to the FCS ranks for a moment, where things still have a ways to play out.
Grambling, fresh off a 59-10 win over Mississippi Valley State, gets UAPB for homecoming on Saturday. GSU is riding high, nationally ranked in the polls and sporting a 4-1 overall record with its lone loss to Arizona. Happy days are back again in North Louisiana.
Their neighbors to the south, Southern, are also feeling pretty good about their chances as they are also 4-0 in the SWAC. They’ll take on Alcorn State, who is having a down year at 3-2 in the conference, but they play in the SWAC East, which means they could still end up in Houston and possibly Atlanta.
Over in the MEAC, three teams enter Week Eight with unblemished conference records. NCCU is currently 5-0 in conference, but they’ll be idle this week. South Carolina State is 3-0 in the MEAC after playing three straight money games to start the season.
SCSU is looking to stay in the MEAC race, but they shouldn’t look past Hampton. HIU has been inconsistent, but they’ll look to keep their faint hopes alive with a win and pray the sky falls on the teams in front of them. And it's Homecoming at North Carolina A&T, otherwise known as GHOE (Greatest Homecoming On Earth). A&T will look to stay perfect in the MEAC, but they have to face a scrappy FAMU team that has won three of its last four games.
Back in Division II, the CIAA Championship Game doesn’t have any spots filled in yet, but that could change this week. Winston-Salem State enters its matchup against Shaw with a 6-2 record, 5-0 in the CIAA. A win over Shaw would mean WSSU would clinch a spot in the title game and its sixth-consecutive Southern Division title.
Things aren’t as simple in the CIAA Northern Division. Only one of the division’s six teams, Lincoln, is completely out of the race. Bowie State and Virginia Union are currently 4-1 in the conference, but VUU owns the tie-breaker and controls their own destiny after beating BSU. Chowan, Elizabeth City State and Virginia State are all tied for second place at 3-2 in the conference, which means that they are all still in the running with two weeks left.
And they say HBCU football isn’t entertaining.