Classics are a dime a dozen these days in HBCU football. Someone gets the idea to put together a game with a few events, secures a venue and two schools, and suddenly we have a new classic.
Of course there are mainstays like the Bayou Classic, the Florida Classic and the Magic City Classic that draw 50, 60 or even 70k fans every year.
Then there is the Grandaddy of Them All, the Tuskegee-Morehouse Classic. These two SIAC schools have a rivalry that dates back to 1902, further back than Southern-Grambling, FAMU-Bethune-Cookman and Alabama State-Alabama A&M. Were talking when Booker T. Washington was walking the campus of Tuskegee Institute. It was then, and is now, a matchup of two of the Souths premiere institutions for young black men specifically.
But this years matchup in Columbus isnt just a time-honored tradition, its an important game for both teams.
For Tuskegee, the defending SIAC Champs, its a chance to show that despite its 3-2 record, it is still the team to beat for the title. Morehouse comes in at 5-0, but knows that it anything less than a win will be seen as a sign that it is not quite ready for prime time.
Morehouse is running through the SIAC right now but they haven’t run up on Tuskegee just yet. Who will walk away the winner in Columbus on Saturday?
Further south, Florida A&M is riding high after an unexpected blowout win over North Carolina Central last weekend as it prepares for a homecoming matchup with Norfolk State on Saturday.
FAMU and DSU are both coming off big wins where they scored 50-plus points. Quarterbacks Ryan Stanley of FAMU and Juwan Pootie Carter of Norfolk State arent the most-talked about signal callers in the MEAC, but both were on fire last week and hope to lead their teams to their third-straight win on Saturday.
Things are pretty quiet in the SWAC this week as Prairie View has a bye, which is well-deserved after playing its first six games on the road or at neutral sites. That includes a 22-15 win over Grambling as it put itself in the SWAC West drivers seat through the first half of the season.
Alcorn State, fresh off a homecoming victory over Southern last week, gets what should be an easy win over Alabama State for its homecoming. Meanwhile, Alabama A&M will be looking to secure its second-straight win and third of the season overall as it takes on Texas Southern.
Divisional play begins over in the CIAA, and both divisions have games that will be worth watching.
Shaw will host defending Southern Division champs Fayetteville State on Saturday. FSU has lost two games due to Hurricane Florence, but it is unbeaten in games it has actually played after beating Chowan 40-38 last week. Shaw, meanwhile, is expected to contend for the division title as it has just as much talent as anyone in the CIAA.
Speaking of Chowan, it faces a tough task in a Bowie State team that can score with the best of them. Bowie State is off to a 4-1 start and favored to win the conference, but it has looked rather beatable in its last five quarters, allowing St. Aug to mount a brief comeback and having to rally to beat Winston-Salem State in its home opener last week. Both offenses are explosive and we could see an 80-plus point performance as both defenses have given up 40 or more points this season.
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