By// Donal Ware
The Tennessee State Tigers are the real deal.
The Tigers came from behind — down 10 points in the fourth quarter — to defeat Eastern Kentucky 23-20 to retain the top spot in both the Boxtorow national media and coaches polls.
The Tigers remain undefeated and are now 2-0 in the OVC. Quarterback Michael German’s one-yard touchdown run with eight seconds remaining was the difference in the game.
The Tigers received 18 of 20 first place votes from the media and for the third-straight week were a unanimous selection of the coaches.
In the coaches’ poll, spots No. 1 – 4 remained the same with Alabama A&M, Bethune-Cookman and Howard all winning.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Alabama State both won this week, but the two traded spots as the Golden Lions are No. 5 this week and the Hornets No. 6. UAPB defeated ASU 24-21 two weeks ago.
The North Carolina Central Eagles enter the coaches’ poll for the first time this year after defeating South Carolina State 40-10 in the Circle City Classic. The Delaware State Hornets re-enter the poll after their 20-17 victory over Norfolk State.
Both South Carolina State and Norfolk State dropped out of the poll.
In the media poll, the top five spots – Tennessee State, Alabama A&M, last year’s champion Winston-Salem State, Bethune-Cookman and Howard – remained unchanged from last week. Similar to the coaches’ poll, UAPB traded places with Miles and move to No. 7 while the Golden Bears move No. 8. One point separated the two teams last week.
Tuskegee moved up one spot to No. 9 while North Carolina Central moves into the media poll for the first time ever, debuting at No. 10.
This also marks the first time since Boxtorow began administering the coaches (2009) and media (2007) polls that South Carolina State has not been in either poll.
|1||Tennessee State (18)||6-0||198||1|
|2||Alabama A&M (1)||6-0||173||2|
|3||Winston-Salem State (1)*||6-0||160||3|
|10||North Carolina Central||3-2||21||NR|
Other receiving votes: Morgan State (3-2) 10, Fort Valley State (4-2) 9, Delaware State (2-3) 4, Saint Augustine’s (4-2) 3, South Carolina State (2-4) 4, Jackson State (2-4) 3.
|1||Tennessee State (16)||6-0||160||1|
|8||North Carolina Central||3-2||34||NR|
|10||North Carolina A&T||2-3||14||9|
Others receiving votes: South Carolina State (2-4) 8, Florida A&M (2-4) 5, Norfolk State** (2-4) 4, Jackson State (2-4) 2, Southern (2-3) 2, Alcorn State (2-4) 1.
* Defending HBCU National Champion (Media)
** Defending HBCU National Champion (Coaches)
The Boxtorow HBCU FCS Coaches’ poll is administered by FROM THE PRESS BOX TO PRESS ROW and is voted on by the HBCU Football Championship Subdivision coaches. The Media poll is voted on by top media members around the country who cover HBCU sports.