College football kicked off last week, but this Saturday HBCU fooball will be in full effect for the first time this year.
Last week, the FCS squads got their first taste of action. This week the Division II and NAIA teams will join in the fun, as D2 powers Winston-Salem State and Tuskegee look to return to the playoffs with their CIAA and SIAC brethern chasing closely behind.
Week Two will also undoubtedly bring about several blowouts as a couple of squads are set to challenge FBS opponents.
One week after suffering a heartbreaking loss to Jackson State on a last-second hail mary, FAMU will have to head south to take on Miami. FAMU has beaten The U before, but that was back when it was the defending Division I-AA champion and Miami was a team struggling to find its foothold in the pre-Jimmy Johnson era. FAMU can only hope this game won't be as painful as last season's 76-0 loss to Ohio State in Week Two.
Last week, South Carolina State played the role of Big Brother when it pounded D2 Benedict 63-0 in its season-opener. It can only hope that the score won't be reversed this week when it plays in-state FBS foe Clemson, a Tigers squad that is extremely salty after the beat down they suffered at the hands of Georgia last weekend.
Alcorn State may be a contender in the SWAC, but it will be outgunned this weekend when it takes on Southern Miss. The same applies for Grambling who will cross the border to play Houston.
Despite the doom-and-gloom that those games are likely to inspire, there are some games that will be worth watching from a competitive standpoint. Tennessee State, the highest ranked HBCU in the FCS polls, will travel to Montgomery to take on Alabama State. TSU is the favorite to win, but it won't be nearly as easy as last week's walkthrough with Edward Waters.
Staying in Alabama, Tuskegee and Alabama A&M will renew their rivalry in what most people believe will be a Tuskgee win. Skegee is coming off its first-ever trip to the Divsion II playoffs while Alabama A&M is still trying to pick up the pieces from last week's 47-13 loss to NC A&T in the MEAC-SWAC Challenge.
The other nationally ranked Divsion II team, Winston-Salem State, will open its first season under new head coach Kienus Boulware by hosting UNC-Pembroke on Saturday. UNCP is the only team to be Winston-Salem State in the regular season since 2010.
With more teams and players, expect more excitement in Week Two of HBCU football.