By Donal Ware
College Sports Journal
PHILADELPHIA, PA. — The Tennessee State Tigers dropped their first game of the season, a 31-28 overtime decision to Jacksonville State.
That loss opened the door for two new top teams in HBCU football.
The defending national champion Winston-Salem State Rams are the new No. 1 in the Boxtorow national media poll, while the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats regain the top spot in the coaches’ poll, just edging out the Tigers.
The Rams received 12 of 19 first place votes from the media while the Wildcats received six of 16 first place votes from the coaches.
The Tigers, who had been a unanimous selection amongst the coaches the last four week, received nine first place votes.
Despite receiving less first place votes in the coaches’ poll, the Wildcats edged the Tigers out by two pints (150 to 148). B-CU pummeled defending national champion Norfolk State 48-3 on Saturday.
Spots Nos. 3 – 8 remained the same from last week with four of the six teams winning. Alabama State, and Alabama A&M who received the other first place vote had the week off.
Jackson State and South Carolina State both reenter the poll this week, the Tigers coming off a 14-7 double overtime homecoming victory over Mississippi Valley State and the Bulldogs defeating Florida A&M 27-20 in overtime.
Meanwhile in the media poll the Rams regained the top spot while the Tigers fell one spot to No. 2.
Bethune-Cookman, Alabama A&M and Arkansas-Pine Bluff remained in the Nos. 3, 4, and 5 positions. Miles, Howard and Alabama State remained Nos. 8, 9, and 10.
A significant game on Saturday will have an affect on the MEAC race and next week’s poll as North Carolina Central and Bethune-Cookman both undefeated in the MEAC will meet in Daytona Beach, FL.
The Boxtorow HBCU FCS coaches’ and media polls are administered by FROM THE PRESS BOX TO PRESS ROW. The coaches’ poll is voted on by the HBCU Football Championship Subdivision coaches and the media poll is voted on by media members around the country who cover HBCU football.
2012 Boxtorow HBCU Football Media Top 10 Poll
(Records through October 20)
Rank School W-LPts.LW
1.Winston-Salem State (12)*8-01712
2.Tennessee State (7) 7-11651
4.Alabama A&M 6-11304
5.Arkansas-Pine Bluff 5-2 1045
6.North Carolina Central 5-2 847
7.Miles 7-1 766
8.Tuskegee 6-1 628
9.Howard 5-2 509
10.Alabama State 4-31910
Other receiving votes: Fort Valley State (6-2) 11, Delaware State (4-3)
10, Jackson State (4-4) 6, Saint Augustine’s (5-3) 2.
2012 Boxtorow FCS HBCU Football Coaches Poll
(Records through October 20)
Rank SchoolW-LPts.Previous Week
1. Bethune-Cookman (6) 5-21502
2.Tennessee State (9) 7-1 1481
3.Arkansas-Pine Bluff 5-2 1213
4.Alabama A&M (1) 6-11164
5.North Carolina Central 5-2 975
6.Delaware State 4-3 736
7.Howard 5-2 707
8.Alabama State 4-3508
9.Jackson State 4-4 22NR
10.South Carolina State 3-5 11NR
Others receiving votes: Florida A&M (3-5) 10, North Carolina A&T (3-4) 9,
Morgan State (3-4) 9.
*Defending HBCU National Champion (Media)
Editor's Note: Donal Ware is one of the leading voices in Historically Black College and University football. His Boxtorow.com website, popular articles for such publications as Jet magazine and regular radio shows for such networks as Sirius/XM have given him a high profile in the college and professional sports world. You can read more of his material at Boxtorow.com