We are in the home stretch of the HBCU football season, which means emotions are high as teams fight to keep themselves in play in their respective conferences.
The SIAC was flipped upside down with a couple of upsets while there is still much to play for in the CIAA’s Northern division.
In the SWAC East, however, Florida A&M took a step closer to clinching the division title on its day off.
Here are the 5 Takeaways from Week 7 of the HBCU football season.
1. Homecoming Spoilers
It was not the best weekend for teams playing their homecoming games, as we saw several teams walk into opposing stadiums and play spoiler.
In 12 homecoming contests, host teams were only able to break even, finishing with a 6-6 record.
In three weeks this season with multiple homecoming games, host teams have yet to compile a winning record. Teams went 2-2 during week five and 2-3 during week six (Morgan State’s homecoming game was canceled).
Seeing as homecoming is the game in which teams galvanize the troops to put forth the most inspired performance of the season, it is quite surprising to see the lack of success for homecoming hosts.
2. Mayhem in the SIAC
The SIAC has been flipped upside down with upset losses providing mayhem at the top of the standings.
Week seven kicked off on Thursday night with Benedict erasing Fort Valley State’s unblemished conference record with a one-sided 48-6 win.
Then, on Saturday, Albany State and Tuskegee also saw their undefeated conference records vanish at the hands of Allen and Edward Waters.
There is now a four-way tie for third place in the SIAC with Miles (beat Morehouse), Allen, Tuskegee, and Albany State each holding 4-1 conference records.
They are only a half-game behind Fort Valley State, who is clinging to second place at 5-1. Meanwhile, Benedict occupies the top spot as the only undefeated team remaining in the conference at 5-0.
Also, Edward Waters, who improved to 4-2 in conference play following its win over Tuskegee, still has a chance to put itself in position for a top slot with looming matchups against Albany State and Allen.
With three weeks left in the season in the SIAC, there are still more questions than answers in the conference.
3. CIAA South still wide open
In the same way, there are still questions that need to be answered in the SIAC; there is still a lot to play for in the CIAA South.
Fayetteville State maintained its 5-0 conference record, although they were tested in an ugly 19-14 win over Livingstone. Behind them is Johnson C. Smith, who held on to its second-place slot, improving to 4-1 in CIAA play following a 14-6 win against St. Augustine’s.
While both teams will clash next weekend with the number one spot in the division on the line, waiting in the wings is Winston-Salem State, who is technically in the running for the division crown.
Winston-Salem State improved to 3-2 in the CIAA after defeating Shaw 41-20. Depending on the result of the game between Fayetteville State and Johnson C. Smith next weekend, the Rams could have a shot to overtake both teams for the division.
Provided WSSU takes care of business against St. Augustine’s next weekend, they will end the season in back-to-back matchups between Johnson S. Smith and Fayetteville State, respectively.
If Johnson C. Smith wins, Winston-Salem would just need to beat both teams in the impending matchups and they would claim the division’s CIAA championship game slot.
4. Alabama State clears path for Florida A&M to SWAC East title
Even though Florida A&M is on its bye week, they benefited from the result of a highly emotional contest that put them one step closer to a SWAC championship berth.
The Alabama State Hornets got revenge on the Jackson State Tigers, spoiling their homecoming with a 24-19 win.
This dropped Jackson State’s conference record to 2-2, putting them in a three-way tie between Alabama State and Alabama A&M (beat Grambling State).
Seeing as Florida A&M owns the tiebreaker over Alabama State and Jackson State, Alabama A&M has the best chance of overtaking Florida A&M but will need some help.
The Bulldogs would need FAMU to lose a game and would need to win against them on November 4 (while, of course, not losing until then) to overtake them for first place in the division.
Alabama State and Jackson State have a much tougher road, needing Florida A&M to lose three of its four remaining conference games and to win out to claim the SWAC East’s top spot.
5. Lincoln keeps streaking
For the first time since their football program was revived in 2008, the Lincoln Lions have a chance at producing a winning season.
Lincoln recorded its third straight victory after knocking off Elizabeth City State 27-21, improving 4-3 overall on the season.
In addition, the Lions technically still have a chance at winning its first-ever CIAA North division title.
Holding a 3-2 record in conference action, Lincoln still has games against the division’s top two teams, Virginia Union and Virginia State.
Should they win those two games (as well as their season-finale contest against Bowie State) and Virginia State loses a game, they would be crowned division champions.
Whether they can pull this feat off or not, Lincoln is shocking the world and is showing they are ready to be a contender in the CIAA.