FAMU Believes They’re The Black College National Champions | NCAA.com Ranks Rattlers No. 1 In Final Power Ranking

The Celebration Bowl has been tabbed the de facto Black College National Championship. On Saturday the MEAC champion South Carolina State Bulldogs manhandled the SWAC champion Jackson State Bulldogs (31-10) in front of a sellout crowd at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
The Florida A&M Rattlers didn’t even play in the Celebration Bowl this past weekend, but they’re still claiming they’re the Black national champions.

They’re claiming because they beat South Carolina State 30-7 in their matchup and Jackson State lost to the Bulldogs 31-10 on Saturday. But the caveat they failed to mention was that the Tigers beat them 7-6 in the Orange Blossom Classic.

That loss to Jackson State, albeit by one point, kept the Rattlers from participating in the game that decides the Black college national champion. The Rattlers are the second college football team to declare themselves national champions, joining the 2017 University of Central Florida Black Knights, who claimed they were the best team in CFB in 2017 after going 13-0 and beating Auburn in the Peach Bowl.

FAMU Says We Played In Playoffs And That Carries Weight

Since the inception of the Cricket Celebration Bowl in 2015 through 2018, the winner of that game has been recognized as the HBCU national champion. This year that’s the SCSU Bulldogs. But NCAA.com ranked the Rattlers No. 1 in its final power rankings.

In 2019, FAMU was on probation and couldn’t participate after they’d beaten eventual Cricket Bowl Champion North Carolina A&T 34-31 during the regular season.

Rattlers head coach Willie Simmons was asked his opinion about where his team ranks and he was biased as expected.

“In 2019, it was a similar situation. The team that won the Celebration Bowl was the team we beat in the regular season.” Simmons told reporters. “I know the Celebration Bowl is dubbed as the Black College National Championship. But if you look at the season from week 1 to 13, we were the best team in Black college football.”

The Rattlers were also the only HBCU to receive an invite to participate in this year’s FCS playoffs. So in their opinion that should count for something as well.

Baseless Claims? 

For the Rattlers to claim they’re the national champions is awkward, considering they lost to Jackson State but beat South Carolina State.

All three HBCU programs had great seasons. Jackson State posted it’s first 11-win season in program history. Head coach Deion Sanders won the Eddie Robinson Award. Freshman quarterback Shedeur Sanders was named SWAC Freshman of the Year and he won the Jerry Rice Award.

South Carolina State started the season 1-4 and won six of their final seven games to finish 7-5 and 2021 Celebration Bowl champions. It was also a coming-out party for wide receiver Shaq Davis, who made himself some NFL money with his three-touchdown performance in Atlanta on Saturday.

The FAMU Rattlers finished the regular season on an eight-game win streak before a loss in the FCS playoffs. Coach Willie Simmons will have a loaded roster returning next season, and if MEAC DPOY Isaiah Land returns they’ll be downright dominant on the defensive side of the ball.

In all, this is a great thing for HBCUs and football, as it brings more visibility and notoriety to the sport and the different programs as a whole.

The 2022 HBCU football season could be another one for the ages when you consider the deep pool of returning and incoming talent at various positions on the gridiron.

#HBCUs #BlackCollegeFootball #ILoveMyHBCU #GoJSUTigers #SCSUBulldogs #FAMURattlers


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