The second-half of the 2014 college football season is under way, which is both sad and exciting. Sad that we're on the back end of what TSL Sports Talk host Mark Gray calls "The Black National Pastime," but exciting because rivalry games are popping up everywhere as conference rivals jockey for postseason position.
This week's action jumps off with an intruiguing MEAC matchup in Greensboro as Hampton travels to face North Carolina A&T. This has been a matchup many in the HBCU football community have been looking forward to since Connell Maynor was named Hampton's football coach last December (we interviewed Coach Maynor right after he was hired by Hampton in January. Listen to the interview here). Maynor is a former NC A&T quarterback who actually interviewed for the job that eventually went to Rod Broadway back in 2010. Since then, Maynor's relationship with his alma mater has been somewhat antgonistic, so it'll be interesting to see what type of reception he gets on Thursday night.
Over in the SWAC, Eddie Robinson Stadium will be the site of a great matchup between division leaders Alcorn State and Grambling State. Alcorn enters the game as the hottest team in black college football, while Grambling has arguably been the biggest surprise so far this season. ASU was expected to contend for the SWAC East title and a spot in the conference championship game. Grambling…not so much. But as they say, that's why they play the game.
Division II action features the 79th Annual Morehouse – Tuskegee Classic, a matchup of two of black college football's traditional powers. This year, the game will be more than just a tradition; it could actually be a preview of the SIAC Championship. Tuskegee has been a dominant force in the SIAC West as predicted, starting conference play a perfect 3-0. Morehouse comes into the matchup 4-1, with its lone loss to FBS member Howard. That's pretty good when you consider that the Maroon Tigers only won five games in the 2012 and 2013 seasons combined, and has yet to play a game at their home stadium.
Half of the season is complete, and the second half kicks off with a huge match-up in the SWAC.
Can't wait for Saturday!