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.


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 website by clicking here.

21 comments Add your comment


November 3rd, 2009
12:32 pm

SC State is in the poll as well, moving up from the late teens in pre-season up to No. 10 for the last couple of weeks. Also, FAMU reached No. 22 (I think) in both of the FCS polls (Coaches poll and The Sports Networks poll) in early October before losses to Miami (FL) and SC State.

PV is doing it up. it would be nice if by some quirk they could make the playoffs, but as well as they are doing, the SCG would be 1st choice.


November 3rd, 2009
1:00 pm

Man, PVA&M has come a LOOOOOONG way!! I can remember when their program may have been the worst in HBCU football…now, they are nationally ranked!

Leo, do you think my Rattlers can get an at-large bid (if we run the table) to the playoffs this year, especially given the relative weakness of the traditionally strong Southern Conference?

Leo Willingham

November 3rd, 2009
1:23 pm

Great question RattlerMan. I was actually going to throw that question out for discussion later, but now is as good a time as any.

I think this is the year that the MEAC receives an at-large bid to the FCS playoffs – and that at-large bid should go to FAMU.

For the sake of the discussion, let’s say that South Carolina State and FAMU run the table. The Bulldogs would earn the automatic bid as conference champ while the Rattlers – with their only losses coming against S.C. State and the University of Miami – would be extremely hard to turn down.

And as you mentioned, the Southern Conference isn’t as strong as normal. Elon and App State should be locks for the field while Georgia Southern, Chattanooga and Furman will have to scramble to get there.

This should be the year that the MEAC receives an at-large berth.

Al Beeski

November 3rd, 2009
2:46 pm

Sup Leo,
Also, the D-II regional rankings are out and Albany St. is currently #3 in South Region, with Morehouse and Benedict ranked seventh & eighth, respectively. So, basically, ASU is guaranteed a playoff spot regardless of this weekend’s outcomes, while Morehouse & Benedict need some help on Saturday. Also, Fayetteville St. is ranked tenth in the East regional. And if I’m not mistaken they will earned the “earned access bid” for the CIAA.

Leo Willingham

November 3rd, 2009
3:30 pm

As usual Al you are correct. Albany State’s a lock and the others need some help.

While you’re here, give me a quick recap of the ASU-Tuskegee game. Appears to have been a hard-fought game, but I assuming the outcome was a bit painful for Ram fans.


November 3rd, 2009
4:08 pm

Thanks, Leo!! From your fingers to the committee’s ears, minds, thoughts, etc.!!

Al Beeski

November 3rd, 2009
4:40 pm

No problem Leo,

First, being as totally unbiased as I can (ASU c/o 95), it was a great back & forth game in terms of momentum.
Both run defenses completely dominated the line of scrimmage in a hard hitting affair. ASU took a quick 7-0 lead behind scrambling & passing of A.J. McKenna as Skegee completely shut down the Rams rushing game & Demetrice Johnson. However, Tuskegee tied it at 7 heading into halftime by exploiting the Rams’ somewhat pedestrian pass defense with both their qbs (Joshua Harris & Jeremy Williams) being effective in the passing game. After halftime (and of course both bandz rocked the joint, it’s HBCU football what else is new), ASU moved the ball downfield via the air and McKenna & WR Ronnie Childs providing the most damage, but had to settle for two consecutive field goals after reaching the red zone twice and take a 13-7 lead.
But in the 4th quarter, Tuskegee marched down the field and after a crucial facemask penalty on the Rams on a 4th down in their territory, the Tigers punched it in on a quick slant pass from Harris to Antoine Mitchell to take a 14-13 lead in the final stanza.
However, ASU drove right back down the field behind McKenna and Johnson and took the lead 19-14, but missed the crucial two point conversion with ~ 5 mins remaining. After stopping the Tigers on 4th down with about 3 mins remaining, the Rams made two crucial mistakes on their drive by running out of bounds on the 1st & 3rd down plays, and having to punt the ball to Tuskegee with less than two minutes remaining.
After that, Tuskegee exploited the Rams pass defense and drove a whopping 85 yards against the #1 Defense in the country and made it look easy as the Tigers RB Forney ran in a 4 yd touchdown with 25 seconds left to win an outstanding game 21-19.
As a Ram Rooter, it was VERY painful, as we simply did a terrible job of clock management and our secondary was somewhat exposed in their coverage abilities. However, I am confident CMW and his staff will rectify those problems heading into the playoffs. Congrats to Tuskegee on another conference title and as we’ve debated before on this site, I wish they would move the date of their Turkey Day Classic so they can participate in the D-II playoffs & make the money from their game with ASU.
Finally,I didn’t know you needed a recap or I would have already sent it in. And holla at me if you need a recap of the FCC this weekend in Columbus.


November 4th, 2009
9:28 am

Thanks Leo and Al Beeski for pulling that scab off of that sore again. Excellent recap though. When the players and coaches in Albany read this article, it should remind the players that they have a chance to make history in the DII playoffs reminiscent of the 2004 DII dance. Once again, Only after Albany gets the win over Ft. Valley this weekend. GO RAMS!!! oh GO Stillman!

MHC Tiger!

November 4th, 2009
3:07 pm

What help does Morehouse need to get in the playoffs? This would be a first if memory serves me right!

Leo Willingham

November 4th, 2009
3:44 pm

First and foremost, Morehouse needs to beat Miles. Second, teams currently ranked ahead of the Maroon Tigers in the D-II Regional rankings would have to lose. Two teams ranked immediately ahead of Morehouse — Mars Hill and Arkansas Tech — play tough opponents Saturday, so it’s possible.

But you’ve gotta win first and then watch the scoreboard ….

Al Beeski

November 4th, 2009
5:00 pm


Hopefully, the SIAC can get two teams in this year & I’m pretty sure that would be a first as well. Mars Hill plays Wingate & Ark Tech goes to Harding, as Leo said to tough opponents. After watching the game here in Albany Saturday, The ‘House has some nice skill players, but don’t underestimate Miles, because they are a decent team as well. And Billy Joe always has plenty of tricks up his sleeves and they even beat Tuskegee this year. so good luck

FCS Playoffs

November 4th, 2009
5:47 pm


Could you explain the FCS playoff selection process and is the field being expanded past 16 teams this year?


SCSU '75

November 4th, 2009
6:52 pm

Wow! Go SC State Bulldogs. Sorry folks, give me a moment. Just in case Marcus did not know who we are. His reference to SCG (to me implied a school in Columbia) who are Spurrier’s Gamecocks.

Anyway I would be utterly shocked if two teams went to FCS playoffs from the same HBCU conference. It is just not happening.

Leo Willingham

November 5th, 2009
8:06 am

In a nutshell, here’s the breakdown of the FCS playoffs:

It’s a 16-team field consisting of eight conference champions and eight at-large bids. Eight conference champs are Big Sky, Colonial, MEAC, Missouri Valley, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland. The defending champ, Richmond, is a member of the Colonial Athletic Association.

Non-conference champions with at least seven wins are eligible for an at-large bids. Next year, the field will be expanded to 20 teams.


November 5th, 2009
11:41 am

Let’s hope them Rattler can win out and get an at-large bid. NCA&T, Hampton, and rival BCU won’t just give these games away. FAMU must continue to play hard and the defense must improve. Stopping the running game has been a thorn in the side for FAMU. But we manage to get the W’s.


November 6th, 2009
3:55 pm

Also, to add to Leos comment from Nov. 3rd (1:23 pm), regarding the SoCon’s off-year, the CAA may not get the 5 teams in like they hae the last 2 years. They currently have 4 teams in the top 10, w/ Delaware being in the top 25. They have a lot of tough games against each other and Delaware still has to play an FBS game (Navy). Might see some movement if they beat each other up and this is probaby the best season in recent times to angle for a MEAC at-large bid.

[...] Leo Willingham on Florida A&M’s rankings [...]


November 11th, 2009
8:44 pm

damu loses to hampton saturday


November 16th, 2009
12:53 pm

Now we all know who is the best black college football team is an that SOUTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY MEAC CHAMPS 2008, AND 2009. We have won 18 consecutive hbcu games, currently ranked #9 in D1-AA polls and looking to become the Division 1-AA CHAMPIONS this 2009 season.

Go Bulldogs!!!!


November 16th, 2009
9:56 pm

I hear ya brothers and sisters! take a look at this


[...] But even if Bethune-Cookman did manage to pull the upset over FAMU, it would be kind of a let down for a black college football nation rooting for the Rattlers to win out and possibly secure an at-large berth in the FCS Playoffs. [...]

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