Payton, Rice among Black College Football HOF inductees

Former Black College football standouts Walter Payton and Jerry Rice and coaches Eddie Robinson and Jake Gaither are among the 11-member inaugural induction class of the Black College Football Hall of Fame.

The Black College Hall of Fame, established last year by former quarterbacks James Harris and Doug Williams to honor the greatest players and coaches from historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), will honor the inaugural class at its first enshirement ceremony Feb. 20 in Atlanta. The class of eight players, two coaches and one contributor was selected from a field of 260 nominees and 35 finalists.

Payton played at Jackson State from 1971-74 and later finished his pro career as the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. Payton is already a member of the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

Rice had an All-American career at Mississippi Valley State and went on to set several receiving records in the NFL. Rice is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and …

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Black College football players earn All-America honors

Nine players from historically black institutions have been named to the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) All-America team.

Defensive back Terrell Whitehead of Norfolk State was named to the first team, the lone Black College player on the first team. Return specialist LeRoy Vann of Florida A&M was one of five on the second team, joining offensive lineman Johnny Culbreath of South Carolina State, linebacker George Howard of Morgan State and defensive back Jason House of Southern.

The third-teamers included wide receivers Juamorris Stewart of Southern, defensive lineman Christian Anthony of Grambling, defensive back Anthony Beck of Prairie View and punter Jahmal Blanchard.

FIRST TEAM

OFFENSE

Quarterback — Armanti Edwards, senior, 6-foot, 185 pounds, Appalachian State.

Running backs — Deji Karim, senior, 5-11, 205, Southern Illinois; Pat Paschall, senior, 6-0, 198, North Dakota State.

Linemen — Derek Hardman, senior, 6-6, 300, Eastern Kentucky; Matt …

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Black College Hall of Fame finalists announced

Some of the top players and coaches in Black College Football history are among the 35 finalists for the Black College Football Hall of Fame.

The inaugural 11-person induction class (eight players, two coaches and one contributor) will be announced the first week of January and honored at the Black College Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony Feb. 20 in Atlanta. For more information on the induction class or the enshrinement ceremony, visit the Black College HOF website by clicking here.

More than 260 nominations were received and the list was paired down to the following:

Player Finalists

Lem Barney (DB, Jackson State University, 1963-1966)

Mel Blount (DB, Southern University, 1966-1970)

Robert Brazile (LB, Jackson State University, 1971-1975)

Rosevelt Brown (OL, Morgan State University, 1949-1952)

Willie Brown (DB, Grambling State University, 1959-1963)

Junious “Buck” Buchanan (DE, Grambling State University, 1959-1963)

Harry Carson (DE, South Carolina …

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Tennessee State coach shocks team with resignation

Tennessee State ended its season with a victory over Eastern Illinois Thursday, a surprising win over the Ohio Valley Conference leader on the road.

But the real surprise occurred after the game. With the team gathered on the field, TSU coach James Webster announced his resignation, an abrupt end to his five-year tenure in Nashville.

“I just told them I was very, very proud of them,” Webster told the Tennessean. “I’m proud of the way that they fought back tonight. I’m proud of the character they have shown all year long.”

The Tigers finished 4-7, their third losing season in Webster’s five years at TSU.

“Words can’t even describe how I feel right now,” said linebacker Rodney Fritz told the paper. “It hurts me deeply.

For the complete story, click here.

PERFECT MEAC RECORD WITHIN REACH

South Carolina State has already clinched the MEAC championship. Now the Bulldogs look to put the finishing touches on their second straight unbeaten season within the conference when they host

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Florida A&M enters national rankings

Florida A&M has re-entered the national rankings, earning the No. 23 spot in this week’s Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) coaches poll.

The Rattlers defeated Morgan State 31-28 in overtime Saturday in Baltimore, improved their record to 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the MEAC. FAMU’s only losses this season have been to the University of Miami and South Carolina State, the defending MEAC champion and the No. 10 team in this week’s rankings.

The only other Black College team in the poll — Prairie View (5-1) — made its debut last week and currently sits one spot ahead of FAMU at No. 22.

Albany State (8-1) and Tuskegee (7-2) are ranked 13th and 15th respectively in this week’s AFCA Division II Coaches Poll.

BLACK COLLEGE HALL OF FAME UPDATE

Nominations for the inaugural class of the Black College Football Hall of Fame will be accepted through Nov. 23.

For more information on the Black College Hall of Fame or to submit a nomination, visit the organization’s …

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Four Black College teams in national rankings

Four Black College teams are ranked in this week’s Division II and FCS national polls.

Tuskegee edged Albany State in the battle of SIAC titans last weekend, but the Rams are still ranked ahead of the Golden Tigers in this week’s AFCA Division II coaches poll.

Tuskegee’s 21-19 victory in the final minute elevated it from 19th to 16th in the national rankings while previously-unbeaten Albany State dropped from eighth to 14th. But Tuskegee ranks ahead of Albany State in another race – the quest for the SIAC championship.

The three-time defending conference champion now finds itself in the driver’s seat for another title with only league games remaining against Lane and Stillman. Albany State has a key game this weekend against Morehouse, currently third in the SIAC, and finishes the regular season against Fort Valley.

The Albany State-Morehouse winner could represent the SIAC in the Division II playoffs. Tuskegee, on the other hand, could take another conference championship …

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Black College football teams ranked in national polls

South Carolina State and Albany State are the highest-ranked Black College teams in this week’s FCS (formerly Division I-AA) and Division II national rankings.

S.C. State (5-1), whose only loss came against Division I opponent South Carolina, moved from 12th to 10th in this week’s FCS poll following last week’s 35-20 victory over Florida A&M. Last year’s MEAC champion now holds a 3-0 conference record this season and will play at Hampton Saturday.

Albany State (7-0) survived a scare last week against a rejuvenated Clark Atlanta squad, prevailing in overtime 32-29. With the win, the Rams jumped from 10th to 8th in this week’s Division II poll and will host another ranked squad — No. 19 Tuskegee — in a huge SIAC contest Saturday.

THURSDAY NIGHT SWAC SHOWDOWN

Huge game on tap in the SWAC tonight as Southern hosts Prairie View in a contest that will be televised nationally on ESPNU.

With a victory, Prairie View (4-1, 3-0 SWAC Western) could tighten its grip on the division lead as …

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S.C. State tops FAMU in MEAC showdown

South Carolina State used a 28-point second-quarter explosion to pull away from Florida A&M en route to a 35-20 victory Saturday in Orangeburg, S.C.

Leading 7-6 after the first quarter, the Bulldogs (5-1, 3-0 MEAC) extended their lead with a 2-yard run from Travil Jamison and a 17-yard pass from Malcolm Long to Oliver Young. FAMU (4-2, 2-1) cut the deficit to 21-13 with a 1-yard run by Mykel Benson, but the Bulldogs added TDs from Will Ford (11-yard run) and Donovan Richard (47-yard interception return) to build a 35-13 halftime lead.

See the complete recap of the game and all MEAC scores by clicking here.

ALBANY STATE SPOILS HIGDON’S DEBUT

Clark Atlanta, playing its first game under interim coach Keith Higdon, had unbeaten Albany State on the ropes Saturday before the Rams eventually prevailed 32-29 in overtime.

The Panthers lost a three-point lead in the final seconds of regulation and opened overtime with a 26-yard field goal. Albany State answered with a 14-yard TD pass …

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Who has the top rivalry in Black College football?

Looking back on the Classic games that have been played this year (and the ones yet to be played), I wanted to throw this question out to everyone – who has the top rivalry in Black College football?

And this doesn’t have to be limited to Classic games. In fact, some of the longest-running rivalries in Black College football have been in place long before Classic games became the norm.

Rivalries tend to bring out the passion in a football fan. If your team wins against its biggest rival, you get to talk smack for at least a year (and who doesn’t enjoy talking a little smack every now and then?)

Rivalries also tend to bring out the fans — thousands and thousands of fans. It’s likely that the two biggest crowds during the football season will be at homecoming and against the biggest rival.

So, who do you think has the top rivalry in Black College football? Most will say it’s their school against their hated rival, but is there one rivalry that most fans will agree stands above …

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Black College Football HOF to enshrine eight

The inaugural Black College Football Hall of Fame induction class will have eight members and will be enshirned next February, according to an announcement from HOF organizers.

Former Grambling University and NFL quarterbacks James ‘Shack’ Harris and Doug Williams, among the driving forces behind the Black College HOF, announced Friday that the first class will consist of seven players and/or coaches plus one contributor to Black College football and will be enshrined Feb. 20, 2010 – in conjunction with Black History Month. New York Times columnist and author William Rhoden will serve as the chairman of an 11-person selection committee and an 18-member advisory committee is also in place.

For more information, visit the Hall of Fame’s website by clicking here.

THE LATEST INVOLVING CLARK ATLANTA

Ex-Clark Atlanta coach Ted Bahhur, who was fired last Tuesday, filed a racial-discrimination complaint Friday with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, according to …

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