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Friday, August 29, 2014

Week One Picks And Power Rankings





FCS Picks 

North Carolina A&T over Alabama A&M: AAMU will put up a good fight, but the A&T defense will be too much for its offense to handle.
Sam Houston State over Alabama State
Alcorn State over Virginia University of Lynchburg: John Gibbs should have a field day throwing against a Keith Lewis-less VUL secondary.
Louisiana-Lafayette over Southern: Louisiana-Lafayette routed Southern last year even though the Jags were eventually the SWAC Champs.
Lamar over Grambling State
Jackson State over FAMU: This game could go either way, but in Jackson with no Marching 100, we'll take JSU.
Texas State over UAPB
Prairie View over Texas Southern
East Carolina over North Carolina Central
Monmouth over Delaware State
South Carolina State over Benedict
Eastern Michigan over Morgan State
Middle Tennessee State over Savannah State
Old Dominion over Hampton: Connell Maynor will make a difference at Hampton, but his team is no where near ready for ODU.
FIU over Bethune-Cookman: BCU beat FIU last year, but it also stumbled in its season opener against Tennessee State. FIU has had a year to think about that loss, and they will be ready.


Week One FCS Power Rankings:

1) Tennessee State: The Tigers are loaded on offense and defense. Look for them to make a run at the Ohio Valley Championship and return to the playoffs.

2) Bethune-Cookman: BCU may have lost some talented players, but Brian Jenkins' squad isn't ready to relinquish its MEAC crown yet.

3) South Carolina State: There may be some questions about the Bulldogs' offense, but they have a scary pass rush with Andrew Carter and Alex Glover.

4) Prairie View: We know Prairie View can score, but will its defense allow it to take charge in the SWAC?

5) North Carolina A&T: Running back Tariq Cohen and a steady defense will keep A&T in the MEAC hunt, but a solid passing game could put it over the top.




Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hampton To Launch National Fundraising Campaign For Athletics



Looks like the rich are trying to get richer in HBCU athletic circles. Hampton University announced earlier this week it will be launching its first-ever national athletic fundraising campaign, Hampton Nation.

"Hampton Nation was designed to capture and create a new culture full of fan passion and financial support for the university and its athletic programs. Contributing to Hampton Nation will help provide the necessary support, giving student-athletes an opportunity to earn a college degree and excel in the sports they love. 

Hampton Nation, with the help of the university administration, evolved into a campaign that would utilize social media, mobile, and internet platforms to promote athletics and the university under one umbrella."

It's amazing that Hampton, one of the most successful and profitable HBCUs, has never had a national fundraising campaign for athletics. That says a lot about how far our schools are behind off the field as well as on it.

Hopefully it'll be a success--one that others can model.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

HBCU Gameday's Preseason FCS All-American Team (Defense)




DL Anthony Bass, Tennessee State
DL Andrew Carter, South Carolina State
DL Miles Grooms, Hampton
DL Alex Glover, South Carolina State

LB Lynden Trail, Norfolk State
LB Javancy Jones, Jackson State
LB D'Vonte Grant, North Carolina A&T

DB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tennessee State
DB Darrin Morrow, Norfolk State
DB Avery Boykin, Mississippi Valley
DB Cameron Alston, Howard


PR

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

FAMU's Marching 100 To Sit Out Vs. Jackson State

(Tampa.com photo)

The return of FAMU's Marching 100 was the big story heading into last season. As we approach 2014, the question is how many times will we see the famed marching band. Doug Blackburn of the Tallahassee Democrat is reporting that the band will not travel to the season over against Jackson State on Saturday.

This news comes a day after it was revealed that FAMU asked for a share of revenue's from Tennessee State's homecoming game to bring the band. FAMU president Elmira Mangum lobbied for the revenue share for weeks, estimating that Tennessee State will make $80,000 off the game.

"I need a whole lot of things before I let the band go to Tennessee State," Mangum said. "So, that's my position on it."

While it is unfortunate that the band won't be in Jackson and may not make it to Tennessee, it makes sense financially. FAMU's athletic department has been in financial trouble for years, and moving around a band the size of the 100 costs money. Also, the 100 is arguably the program's biggest marketing tool.

It would be a shame to see FAMU's band only play at home contests and the Florida Classic, but don't be surprised if it happened. If you live in the Sunshine State, the only place you may be able to catch the Marching 100 is on Youtube.

HBCU Gameday Preseason FCS All-American Team (Offense)




QB Mike German, Tennessee State: First quarterback to lead an HBCU to an FCS playoff win in the 21st century.

2nd Team: Ben Anderson (UAPB)

RB Tarik Cohen, NC A&T: Led the MEAC in rushing as a freshman.

RB Courtney Brown, Prairie View A&M: Leading returning rusher in the SWAC.

2nd Team: Malcolm Cyrus (Alabama State) and Jonta Hebert (Prairie View)

WR Willie Quinn, Southern: After one year in Lee Doss' shadow, Quinn is now the vet in the Southern receiving corps.

WR Milton Williams, Delaware State: Will be looking to continue his improvement from 2013.

2nd Team: Montarious Smith (Alabama A&M), Julian Stafford (Mississippi Valley)

TE Jordan Payne, Alcorn State: Nine of his 24 catches went for scores in 2013. 

OL Robert Myers, Tennessee State 

OL Darren Pinnock, Morgan State 

OL Willie Robinson, NC A&T

OL Jonathan Smith, Jackson State

OL Anthony Mosley, Southern 

K Anthony Prevost, Hampton

KR Adrian Wilkins, NCCU: Wilkins returned kickoffs to the house three times in 2013. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Morgan State Freshman Dies After Practice Collapse

(espn.com)

A Morgan State football player is dead less than a week before what would have been his first college football game. Marquese Meadows, a freshman defensive lineman for the Bears, died Sunday morning according to multiple reports.

The 18 year-old had been hospitalized for two weeks after collapsing at practice on Aug. 10.

Meadow, a Washington native, was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital, and then to Hopkins, following practice on Aug. 10, according to Clinton Coleman, director of public relations and communications at Morgan. Coleman said Meadow was hospitalized since then, and was showing signs of improvement before his condition began to deteriorate Saturday.

"Our prayers go out to the family for comfort at this time," Coleman said. "He was a well-liked young man on the team."

Morgan State is set to open up the season Saturday at Eastern Michigan. Thoughts and prayers go out to Meadows' family and the Bears.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sackmasters: Top Five HBCU FCS D-Linemen

(Juneauempire.com photo)

Anthony Bass, Tennessee State 

Tennessee State had a great season last year, and defense was a big part of that. One of the biggest reasons for TSU's success was its pass rush, led by Bass. The junior recorded 10 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss en route to earning Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year Honors. Look for more of the same this season as TSU challenges for the OVC title.


(TheTandD.com photo)


Andrew Carter, South Carolina State

Carter led the MEAC with 11 sacks in 13 games last season, helping the team get back to the playoffs after a down 2012 season. He also recorded 15 tackles behind the line in 2013.

(Hamptonroads.com photo)


Miles Grooms, Hampton

2013 was another disappointing season in Pirateland, but little of that blame falls on Miles Grooms' broad shoulders. The 6'4, 245 pound defensive end had a monster sophomore season, racking up 9.5 sacks and a total of 18.5 tackles for loss. By the time Grooms is finished at Hampton, he could break some records.

(Thetandd.com photo)

Alex Glover, South Carolina State 

Glover teamed with Andrew Carter to give South Carolina State one of the most fearsome pass-rushing tandems in the FCS last season. Glover came up with 9.5 sacks and a total of 14.5 sacks behind the line. Look for more of the same in 2014.

(AP Photo)

Amir Bloom, Texas Southern

Bloom's eight sacks in nine games accounted for nearly half of Texas Southern's 2013 quarterback takedowns. The 6'4, 245 pound defensive end recorded a team-high 13.5 stops behind the line during his sophomore season.



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Steven J. Gaither is a multimedia journalist and founder of HBCU Gameday. Steven began covering HBCU Sports nearly a decade ago as a student at Winston-Salem State University. His work can also be found at The Shadow League, Diverse Issues In Higher Education and Slam Online.