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Introducing Kendrick Marshalls HBCU/FCS Poll (1424 hits)

Welcome to the first edition of my HBCU/FCS poll. This wont be your run of the mill poll where its creators arbitrarily select their top teams. No, this poll will feature actual analysis. It is understood that from week to week everyone will not agree with the ranking of the schools as the season unfolds. Thats fine. Feedback on this poll will be appreciated and expected.

1. Hampton Pirates 2-0

The Pirates have used special teams to secure wins in their first two games of the regular season. There were whispers before the season started that head coach Don Rose might be on the hot seat if his group stumbled out of the gate. Impressive wins against SWAC foe Alabama A&M (in the Chicago Football Classic) and MEAC rival Florida A&M has Hampton thinking a postseason appearance might be possible.

2. Delaware State Hornets 2-0

There werent too many FCS football pundits expecting the Hornets to contend for a MEAC title in 2011. However, two non-conference wins led by junior quarterback Nick Elkos 470 yards and six touchdowns in two games has Delaware State as a possible sleeper. Upcoming games against in-state rival Delaware and MEAC powerhouse South Carolina State will determine what this team is made of.

3. Jackson State Tigers 2-0

It wasnt the opening week 42-2 win against Concordia (Ala.) that stood out. It was the dispatching of a Tennessee State team that destroyed Southern a game earlier that might set the tone for the Tigers claiming a Black National Championship.

4. South Carolina State Bulldogs 1-1

Buddy Poughs bunch fell just short in 2010 of making yet another playoff appearance. An opening season loss to Central Michigan on the road did not stop the Bulldogs fromtaking care of Bethune-Cookman

5. Grambling State Tigers 1-1

They are the odds on favorites to win the SWAC championship. But the story this season will be development of freshman quarterback D.J. Williams under the watchful eye of head coach Doug Williams.

6. Bethune-Cookman Wildcats 1-1

Was their 63-14 win against Prairie View a fluke in the SWAC/MEAC Challenge contest in Orlando? Well, losing 26-18 at home to South Carolina State was a sure sign of a let-down.

7. Florida A&M Rattlers 1-1

Ranked preseason No. 22 in the CSN poll, the Godfather of MEAC coaches Joe Taylor couldnt have been too happy with his teams three turnover, 109-yard passing performance loss to Hampton last Thursday. If the Rattlers want to be in the conversation with the likes of Bethune-Cookman and South Carolina State, inconsistency versus conference opponents had to be there.

8. Tennessee State 1-1

The Tigers of the Ohio Valley Conference were very close to being unbeaten had it not been for the heroics ofthe Jackson State offense in the second half of the Southern Heritage Classic last Saturday.

9. Alabama State Hornets 1-1

The defending SWAC East champs displayed some moxie in a road game against FBS Eastern Michigan without their starting quarterback Greg Jenkins who left the game with an injury. His replacement, Devin Dominquez, went 11-of-19 and contributed to the Hornets only touchdown in their 14-7 loss. Up next will be a test against Grambling.

10. Prairie View A&M Panthers -1-1
Nearly ten days ago the Panthers were humbled on national TV at the hands of Bethune-Cookman. What a difference a week makes. Prairie View won a wild one against last years SWAC champion Texas Southern.

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Sunday, September 25th 2011 at 5:51AM
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