Only one regular season game remains for each FCS HBCU football team, with some teams playing in Week 12 and some finishing the season around the Thanksgiving holiday. This means that the Week 12 HBCU Football Power Rankings will be the penultimate ranking, with the next ranking not being released until after the Celebration Bowl. Here’s a look at where things stand.
These rankings were generated weekly during the regular season as I rank each FCS level HBCU football team based on their performances. Nicknamed “The Road to Atlanta,” the weekly Power Rankings leads to the annual gathering of HBCU football’s top two teams at this year’s Celebration Bowl in Atlanta.
The Road to Atlanta: Week 12 HBCU Football Power Rankings
1. Jackson State | SWAC | 10-0 (8-0) | Back: 1
Jackson State has not lost a game in the SWAC game in two years and secured the SWAC East crown last week. The Tigers have one more regular season game before the SWAC Championship.
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2.Florida A&M | SWAC | 8-2 (6-1) | Back: 2
Florida A&M won an exciting game against Alabama A&M and blocked a potential game-winning field goal after time was up. Next, the Rattlers travel to Orlando for the Florida Classic. Florida A&M needs to win this game and hope other games find their way to their playoff hopes.
3. North Carolina Center | MEAC | 8-2 (4-1) | Back: T-3
North Carolina Central secured a place in the Celebration Bowl with a win over Norfolk State. The Eagles end the season in a non-conference contest against Tennessee Tech.
4. North Carolina A&T | Great South | 7-3 (3-0) | Back: T-3
North Carolina A&T defeated Charleston Southern by just 10 points. The Aggies scored 20 points, the lowest total on their seven-game winning streak. That low performance, combined with North Carolina Central’s head-to-head win, separates North Carolina A&T from last week’s tie.
5. State of Alabama | SWAC | 6-4 (4-3) | Back: 5
Alabama State was just a blocked field goal away from knocking out Florida A&M and taking control of second-place SWAC East. That narrow loss wasn’t enough to knock the Hornets out of the top five.
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6. Southern | SWAC | 6-4 (4-3) | Back: 6
Southern defeated Mississippi Valley State 27-7 but was eliminated from the SWAC West title fight. The Jaguars stay because of the head-to-head win over Prairie View A&M, but that could change by the end of the season.
7. Prairie View A&M | SWAC | 6-4 (5-2) | Back: 7
Prairie View A&M blew up UAPB 55-24. The Panthers completed nine passes and six of them were touchdowns. A win next week will earn Prairie View A&M the SWAC West title.
8. Texas South | SWAC | 5-5 (4-3)| Back: 8
Texas Southern sent a statement with its 41-7 win over Grambling State. The Tigers will end with a winning record in SWAC and a win next week will give them their first winning season since 2000.
9. Howard | MEAC | 4-6 (3-1) | Previous: 10
Howard’s ups and downs continued as the Bison defeated South Carolina State 28-14. The game wasn’t as close as the score suggested as Howard led 28-7 into the fourth quarter. The Bison could win part of the MEAC title with another win.
10. Morgan State | MEAC | 4-6 (2-2) | Back: 13
Morgan State secured at least a third-place finish in the MEAC with a 37-7 win over Howard. The Bears are also exceeding expectations in Damon Wilson’s freshman year.
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11. Alcorn State | SWAC | 5-5 (4-3) | Back: 16
Alcorn State is back to .500 after beating Bethune-Cookman.
12.Hampton | CAA | 4-6 (1-6) | Back: 12
Hampton’s struggles in the CAA continued with another loss, but the Pirates end the season with Towson, a winnable game.
13. State of Delaware | MEAC | 5-5 (2-3) | Back: 9
Delaware State lost to Morgan State 37-7. The Hornets won’t be able to repeat last year’s MEAC success, but they can end the season with a win over Campbell with a winning record.
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14. Alabama A&M | SWAC | 3-7 (3-4) | Previous: 14
No movement here after Alabama A&M lost to Jackson State by two touchdowns.
15. Grambling State | SWAC | 3-7 (2-5) | Previous: 15
Grambling State’s winning streak ends in two games. The Tigers end the season in the Bayou Classic.
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16. State of South Carolina | MEAC | 3-7 (1-3) | Back: 11
What a fall from the heights of the Celebration Bowl to the bottom half of the MEAC score.
17. State of Tennessee | OVC | 3-7 (2-3) | Previous: 17
Tennessee State has not scored a touchdown for 12 consecutive quarters.
18. Bethune-Cookman | SWAC | 2-8 (2-5) | Previous: 18
Bethune-Cookman continues to lose tight games, falling 17-14 last week.
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19. State of Mississippi Valley | SWAC | 1-9 (1-6) | Back: 19
Last week’s loss means Mississippi Valley State will not match its winning total from last year.
20. Norfolk State | MEAC | 1-9 (1-4) | Back: 20
Norfolk State’s offensive troubles continued with another loss.
21. Arkansas-Pine Bluff | SWAC | 2-8 (0-7) | Back: 21
Make eight straight losses for the Golden Lions.