No.1 Florida A&M (8-1, 6-0) — The Rattlers are coming off a bye week and remain the top team in our HBCU Football poll for the fourth straight week. This weekend, FAMU host the 1-8 Howard Bison for their Senior Day game. Last year, the Bison led by former QB Caylin Newton, upset the Rattlers who would have won the conference outright with 2 games to play and played in the Celebration Bowl. That loss has not been forgotten so expect FAMU to take out some revenge on Howard, who are limping to the end of the season with an interim head coach. Kickoff in Tallahassee is 4pm ET.
No.2 Grambling State (5-4, 3-2) — The Tigers upset previously ranked No.2 Alcorn State 19-16 in OT for their 5th consecutive win of the season. After losing their first four games, 3 of those by 6 points or less, it’s hard to debate that any team in black college football outside of FAMU and Bowie State has been playing better than Grambling since the beginning of October. The win over Alcorn State put Grambling back into the SWAC Championship Picture as they trail Southern by one game. The Bayou Classic on November 30 will be for more than pride as the winner of that game will represent the West Division and host the championship game. This weekend, Grambling travels to Itta Bena, MS to play 2-8 Mississippi Valley State. Kickoff is 2pm ET.
No.3 Alcorn State (6-3, 4-1) — Alcorn State’s loss to Grambling took away the cushion they had over their rivals in the east division. Now with one loss, the Braves have two games left against 2-loss Alabama A&M, this week, and Jackson State next week. A loss to either team may prevent the Braves from claiming the East Division title for a sixth consecutive season This weekend, Alcorn host A&M in this critical SWAC East contest at 3pm ET.
No.4 North Carolina A&T (6-3, 4-2) — North Carolina A&T was a 3-touchdown favorite against Morgan State last weekend in Baltimore. For the second consecutive season, Morgan State upset the Aggies 22-16. Unlike last year, this year’s loss may cost A&T a 3rd consecutive trip to the Celebration Bowl. Coach Sam Washington’s Aggies are now in a 3-way tie with Bethune-Cookman and South Carolina State who are also 6-3, 4-2. All teams have 2 games to play. This weekend, NC A&T host Bethune-Cookman and the winner makes the loser’s chances of being the MEAC representative that much tougher. Kickoff in Greensboro, NC is set for 1pm ET.
No.5 South Carolina State (6-3, 4-2) — After a week out of our Top 5 for the first time since our poll debuted, South Carolina State is back after a 62-20 victory over Howard. The Bulldogs are in a 3-way tie with North Carolina A&T and Bethune-Cookman to be the MEAC representative in the Celebration Bowl. They have a win over BCU and a loss over A&T, so the Bulldogs will most likely be rooting for Bethune-Cookman this weekend as they play the Aggies. If BCU does win, the Bulldogs will need to finish their season with wins over North Carolina Central and Norfolk State to claim the invitation to Atlanta. This weekend, SC State travels to Durham, NC to play the Eagles. Kickoff is set for 2pm ET and can be seen on ESPN3.