Benedict College selected as Mid-Major Division Champion, Jackson State still tops Major Division Poll

The Benedict Tigers have been declared the Mid-Major National Champion by The HBCU-Pro Sports Media Association.  The members have voted and released its Week 13 HBCU Football poll results.  The Benedict version of the Tigers were one of three HBCUs that were selected to participate in the NCAA DII football playoffs.  Another version of the Tigers, from Jackson State, continued to stake their claim as the leader of the HBCU-PSMA Major Poll.  Jackson State, once again, sits atop the poll.  

Benedict (11-1, 8-0 SIAC) entered last week’s game versus Wingate as one of only four undefeated teams in the football classification, but came up short against the top rated defense in NCAA DII, 23-6, to end their season.  Benedict has spent most of the season in the top five, finally claiming the top spot in week nine, and never letting go of it.  BC has key wins against Fort Valley State, Albany State, and Tuskegee.  The Tigers more than doubled their victories from the previous season, having gone 5-5 in 2020.  Virginia Union (9-2, 7-1 CIAA) sat as the top team in the Mid-Major poll from week three until week eight, when they were upset at home by CIAA North Division Champion, Chowan.  During the season, the Panthers picked up key wins against Valdosta State, Fayetteville State, and Virginia State.  The VUU season came to an end when they lost to Wingate in the opening round of the playoffs, 32-7.  CIAA Champion, Fayetteville State (9-3, 8-1 CIAA) earned the bronze medal in the poll by finishing third in the poll.  The Broncos earned key wins versus Chowan (twice), Shaw, and UNC Pembroke.  FSU lost to Delta State, 51-0, in the opening round of the playoffs.  

Fort Valley State (8-2, 6-1 SIAC), who felt like they should have had a spot in the NCAA DII playoffs, finished the season in the four position.  SIAC West Division Champion and runner-up, Tuskegee (8-3, 7-1 SIAC), who picked up their 700th program victory during the season, was fifth, to round out the top five.  Albany State (7-3, 5-2 SIAC), who spent the entire season in the top five, finished sixth after their loss to Fort Valley State in the season-ending Fountain City Classic.  Pre-Season number one, Bowie State (6-4, 5-3 CIAA), had a disappointing season by Bulldog standards, and was in seventh place in the poll.  West Virginia State (7-4, 6-4 MEC), while competing in the tough Mountain East Conference, finished in the eight position.  Virginia State (6-4, 5-3 CIAA) finished third in the CIAA-North and earned the ninth spot in the HBCU-PSMA poll.  The lone NAIA program in the poll, Langston (6-4, 5-4 SAC), ran into a gauntlet during the back half of the Sooner Athletic Conference schedule, but held on to the final position in our top ten poll.

Jackson State (11-0, 8-0 SWAC) has run the table thus far this season and still the unanimous choice atop the Major poll.  The Tigers had a bye week as they prepared to host the SWAC Championship Game on Saturday.  North Carolina Central (9-2, 4-1 MEAC) has been off since November 19 and wrapped up a share of the MEAC championship a week prior.  The will remain idle until the Celebration Bowl on December 17th against the winner of the SWAC Championship Game.  Florida A&M (9-2, 7-1 SWAC), whose season is complete, sits third. Southern (7-4, 5-3 SWAC), defeated Grambling State (3-8, 2-6 SWAC) in the Bayou Classic, 35-17, to force a tie and earn the tiebreaker in the SWAC West, for the right to compete in the conference’s championship game.  The win, also, vaulted the Jaguars ahead of North Carolina A&T State.  North Carolina A&T State (7-4, 4-1), whose season is complete, dropped to fifth. 

An idle Prairie View A&M (6-5, 5-3 SWAC) leap-frogged Alabama State (6-5, 4-4), who had a disappointing loss to Arkansas-Pine Bluff (3-8, 1-7) in the The Turkey Day Classic, 19-14, this past Thursday.  MEAC Co-Champion Howard (5-6, 4-1) is the eighth team in the poll.   Alcorn State (5-6, 4-4) and Texas Southern (5-6, 4-4) round out the Top Ten at nine and ten, respectively.  

Pollsters comprise a cross-section of HBCU media members, including eight different media organizations. These voters cover all four HBCU football-playing conferences, along with HBCU conference independents, and reside in 12 different states.

MID-MAJOR DIVISION POLL (FINAL)

RANK SCHOOL PTS FPV PW
1 Benedict 200 20 1
2 Virginia Union 173 3
3 Fayetteville State 166 2
4 Fort Valley State 129 4
5 Tuskegee 124 5
6 Albany State 100 6
7 Bowie State 64 7
8 West Virginia State 56 8
9 Virginia State 51 9
10 Langston 19 10

Other receiving votes:  Lane (16)

Dropped out:  None

MAJOR DIVISION POLL

RANK SCHOOL PTS FPV LW
1 Jackson State 200 20 1
2 North Carolina Central 174 2
3 Florida A&M 162 3
4 Southern  132 5
5 North Carolina A&T State 131 4
6 Prairie View A&M 93 7
7 Alabama State 78 6
8 Howard 46 8
9 Alcorn State 41 9
10 Texas Southern 33 10

Others receiving votes:  None

Dropped out:  None

About the HBCU Pro-Sports Media Association

Founded in 2020, the HBCU-Pro Sports Media Association is an organization that includes (but not limited to) journalists, photographers, broadcasters, reporters, editors, and sports-information directors dedicated to the coverage and support, both on and off the field, of historically black college sports and HBCU alumni athletes who become professionals. For more information, log onto www.hbcuprosportsmedia.com.

Prepared by HBCU-PSMA member A.D. Drew of the Black College Sports Network and D2Football.com.  

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