Thursday, November 29, 2007

FAMU Rattlers fall to Oklahoma 3-1 in NCAA Tournament

GAINESVILLE, FL - The Oklahoma volleyball became the first team in the country to advance to the NCAA Second Round as it beat Florida A&M, 3-1 (30-25, 32-30, 29-31, 30-14), in opening-round action Thursday night in the Gainesville Sub-Regional.

Oklahoma and Florida A&M kicked off the NCAA Tournament as it was the first match played in the 64-team field with the Gainesville Sub-Regional beginning first round action on Thursday and all other sub-regionals opening on Friday.

The win advanced OU to the second round against the winner of the Florida vs. College of Charleston match which was set for Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. (CST). OU's second round match will begin at 6 p.m. (CST) on Friday with the winner advancing to the NCAA Sweet 16 next week, which will also be held in Gainesville.

"It is always great to advance to the second round in the NCAA Tournament," head coach Santiago Restrepo said. "I thought it was a very interesting match as far as defense was concerned because we matched up very evenly on that side of the ball. I was also pleased offensively as we had four different players with double-digit kills which means setter Julie Chester did a good job distributing the ball."

The Sooners offense was the difference in the match as it recorded a .241 hitting percentage compared to FAMU's .096 clip. The other factor in the match was OU's blocking as the Sooners out blocked the Rattlers, 13.5 to five.

Senior outside hitter Mariana Blum led the Oklahoma offense with 21 kills while sophomore Bridget Laplante followed with 15. Blum and Laplante also tallied double-doubles as it marked Blum's 18th of the season and Laplante's 15th. Adding to the OU offense was Anna Stadel with 13 kills and Francie Ekwerekwu with 12 kills.

Senior Hannah Sharp had her best defensive outing of her career as she collected a career-high 31 digs and became the first Sooner to collect 30 digs in a match all season.

Four different Sooners were stellar in the front as Ekwerekwu and Blum recorded five block assists and a solo block each. Stadel also added five block assists and freshman Chrissy Disarro came in and gave a boost to the defense with five block assists. Disarro, a middle blocker, filled in for opposite hitter Sarah Weiland who left the match early in the first game due to an illness.

The Rattlers jumped out to a 4-1 lead to open the first frame, but the Sooners went on a 5-1 run to take the lead at 6-5. The two squads continued to battle it out back and forth as OU took the 15-14 lead prior to the media timeout. The Sooners put together a 4-1 run to take the 19-15 lead after the break and forced the Rattlers to call a timeout. While OU didn't let go of its lead, FAMU threatened as it closed the gap at 24-22. However, the Sooners went on a 3-1 run to take the four-point lead. The Sooners went on to claim the first frame, 30-25.

Blum led OU's offensive effort in the first frame as the Sooners recorded a .220 hitting percentage behind Blum's six kills while Stadel added four kills. Sharp led the back-row defensive effort with eight digs as the Sooners held the Rattlers to a .098 clip. Stadel also added two block assists to lead the OU defense up front.

The Sooners offense came out strong in the second frame as they opened the second game with a 7-3 lead, forcing the Rattlers to call an early time out. Oklahoma stretched its lead to 15-8, but the Rattlers went on a 5-0 run to cut the gap at 15-13. However, the Sooners maintained their composure and held on to the lead as they lead 17-15 and went on a 7-2 run to take the 23-17 lead. The Rattlers wouldn't go away as they tied the match up at 28-28, marking the first tie since 2-2 to open the game. The tie forced the Sooners to call their first timeout of the game and the Rattlers followed that with a kill to take the 29-28 lead.

However, OU battled back as well with an Ekwerekwu kill and Chrissy Disarro and Blum teamed up for a block assist to give OU the 30-29 advantage. FAMU followed that with a setter dump to tie the match up and OU responded with back-to back kills by Blum to give OU the 32-30 win in frame two and the 2-0 advantage in the match.

Blum was once again the offensive leader in the second frame as she notched seven kills on a .312 hitting percentage while Laplante added five kills. Ekwerekwu led the squad to three team blocks with a solo block and a block assist.

Oklahoma opened the third set with a 2-1 lead, but had to play catch up from there as the Rattlers led 15-12 before the media timeout was called. OU used a 5-2 run to even up the score at 17-17 and the two teams continued to trade points and tied it up again at 21-21. After tying it up again at 23-23, OU took the lead at 24-23 and held on to it until the Rattlers tied it up again at 28-28. The Rattlers took the momentum after taking the 29-28 lead with a kill and forcing an OU timeout. Blum came back with a kill to tie the game again, but FAMU responded with a kill to take the lead at 30-29. The Rattlers added another kill to take game three and force a game four.

The Sooners opened the fourth frame with momentum and a large lead as it held the 15-6 advantage before the media timeout was called. However, the Oklahoma offense rolled in the fourth frame as it dominated the match, 30-14, and closed out the frame with a 5-0 run. The Sooner offense was much more steady in the final game as it tallied a .412 hitting percentage.

The winner of Friday night's match will advance to Regionals in Gainesville, Fla., the following weekend (Dec. 7-8) against the four-team pod hosted by Texas in Austin. That four-team field includes No. 4 overall seed Texas, LSU, New Mexico State and Texas State.

Volleyball Box Score
Florida A&M vs #21 Oklahoma (Nov 29, 2007 at Gainesville, Fla.)

5 CORZO,Cinthya....... 4 0 2 8 -.250 1 0 0 0 16 0 0 0 0 0.0
9 GOMEZ,Maria......... 4 6 3 22 .136 0 0 0 0 4 0 1 0 0 6.5
10 MANZO,Zaira......... 4 3 3 12 .000 55 1 2 0 13 0 1 0 2 4.5
12 UCKELMANN,Hannah.... 4 9 1 25 .320 0 0 0 0 7 0 2 0 0 10.0
15 BLAZESKI,Jovana..... 4 18 15 58 .052 2 0 1 0 13 1 1 0 1 19.5
16 LAKIC,Iva........... 4 27 18 92 .098 0 0 0 0 14 1 1 0 1 28.5
6 PENNICK,Chelsa...... 2 0 0 0 .000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
7 EGOAVIL,Susan....... 4 0 0 1 .000 3 0 2 1 27 0 0 0 0 0.0
Totals.............. 4 63 42 218 .096 61 1 5 1 94 2 6 0 4 69.0

Game K E TA Pct
1 14 9 51 .098 GAME SCORES 1 2 3 4 TEAM RECORDS
2 15 9 57 .105 Florida A&M......... (1) 25 30 31 14 18-8
3 24 13 64 .172 Oklahoma............ (3) 30 32 29 30 22-9
4 10 11 46 -.022

1 Chester, Julie...... 4 2 0 6 .333 62 0 3 0 11 0 1 0 1 2.5
3 Stadel, Anna........ 4 13 6 29 .241 0 1 1 0 2 0 5 0 0 16.5
6 Weiland, Sarah...... 2 3 1 9 .222 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.0
9 Laplante, Bridget... 4 15 1 52 .269 0 0 1 0 17 1 0 0 0 16.0
11 Ekwerekwu, Francie.. 4 12 4 38 .211 0 0 0 0 1 1 5 1 0 15.5
13 Blum, Mariana....... 4 21 6 53 .283 3 0 6 0 19 1 5 0 0 24.5
5 Barnes, Lacy........ 4 0 0 0 .000 0 0 1 0 7 0 0 0 0 0.0
12 Disarro, Chrissy.... 3 3 3 12 .000 1 0 0 0 1 0 5 1 1 5.5
14 Sharp, Hannah....... 4 0 0 0 .000 0 0 1 1 31 0 0 0 0 0.0
15 Harbster, Taylor.... 1 0 0 0 .000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Totals.............. 4 69 21 199 .241 67 1 13 1 89 3 21 2 2 83.5

Game K E TA Pct
1 17 6 50 .220 Site: Gainesville, Fla. (O'Connell Center)
2 21 7 60 .233 Date: Nov 29, 2007 Attend: Time: 2:10
3 15 6 55 .164 Referees: Mike Carter, Kim Wisham
4 16 2 34 .412 NCAA Gainesville Sub-Regional Match 1

1 2 3 4 Total
Tie scores 8 5 12 2 27
Lead changes 5 3 4 1 13

Blogger's Comments:

It appears that FAMU is expecting a miracle from Coach Tanio Trifonov to get the Lady Rattlers past Round One of the NCAA Tournament. Clearly, the Rattlers are undermanned with eight players, whereas, all the non-MEAC teams are stocked with 14-15 scholarship players. The Rattlers are MEAC champions and well respected by the major volleyball programs, but the lack of depth is the Rattlers significant weakness. FAMU and coach Tony has the potential of winning a national championship in volleyball, if only the number of scholarships are increased from 7-8 to a realistic number like 12-15.

Although FAMU has won 99 consecutive matches in the conference, seven straight MEAC championships and eight championships in the last nine years, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore is closing ground on the Rattlers with a 24-4 record in '07. The Hawks lost the '07 MEAC championship to FAMU by a score of 3-1 and have a roster of 12 American players (only one senior) and an associate head coach.

Jovana Blazeski deserves the iron lady award as she has played with a twisted knee (in MEAC championship games) and a torn ACL in her left knee. Not only is the Rattlers squad stocked with the MEAC Coach of the year, Tony Trifonov, MEAC Rookie of the Year, Jovana Blazeski and the MEAC outstanding tournament player, Iva Lakic, but All MEAC tournament players Lakic and sophomore setter Ziara Monzo. Only Hannah Uckelmann and Iva Lakic are seniors, which makes the accomplishments of the volleyball team amazing considering its youth and numbers.

Volleyball could become a self-supporting sport with a visionary athletic director that will aggressively promote the sport. FAMU has an international market available in TLH and cross-over fans at the other school that has shown an interest in the sport. But, Coach Tony needs help in the form of more scholarship players if FAMU expects to advance beyond round one. This team should be built to defeat the UF Gators, if our expectations are for a national championship. Otherwise, without some minor upgrades, we will be battling for the #2 position in the MEAC and will be sitting at home like UMES come NCAA Tournament time next season.

How about an early season volleyball tournament next year with Alabama A&M University (SWAC), Tennessee State University (OVC) and University of Maryland Eastern Shore? AAMU and TSU won their respective conferences this season and may provide a higher level of competition and fan interest in TLH than Mercer or North Florida.

Tonight, fatigue won first and Oklahoma was able to capitalize on our lack of bench strength.

The Lady Rattlers end with 18-8 for 2007.

Great job Coach Tony and Lady Rattlers. Thanks a million!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Battle of Bands: 2007 Bayou Classic - Grambling vs. Southern U.

Grambling State University Tigers Marching Band - Half-Time

Southern University Jaguars Human Jukebox and Dancing Dolls - Half-Time

Southern University Jaguars Human Jukebox and Grambling State - Battle of Bands Show

Southern University Jaguars Human Jukebox and Grambling State University Tigers Band Highlights

Grambling State University Tigers Pre-Game Show

Southern University Jaguars Human Jukebox Band

Grambling State University Tigers Band

Southern University Jaguars Human Jukebox and Dancing Dolls

Southern University Jaguars Human Jukebox

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Battle of Bands: James Madison vs. Southern University

by beepbeep

Reality--this has never happened in the same stadium, but it could in the near future as MEAC and SWAC teams attempt to upgrade regular season football schedules with playoff experienced Football Championship Subdivision teams. What if Southern University Jaguars football had to face James Madison University Dukes in a national ESPN televised game. What could one expect from the half-time Battle of the Bands show?

Here is a preview of what could happen and the level of competition one could expect from the Dukes. You will be surprised by the level of musicality, precision marching and showmanship. With contrasting styles--who wins this titanic battle--the Human Juke Box or the 1994 Sudler Trophy winning 366-piece Royal Dukes Band?

Note: Florida A&M University (1985) is the only HBCU that has won the Sudler Trophy as the country's top college band. The prestigious award was first given in 1982 and previous winners have been Michigan, Illinois, Ohio State, FAMU, Texas, Oklahoma, Michigan State, Kansas, UCLA----you get the picture! The Sudler Trophy, it should be understood is to the world of marching bands what the Heisman Trophy is to that of football. In other words, the Human Jukebox is in for a battle...

James Madison University Marching Royal Dukes Band

Southern University Human Jukebox Marching Band and Dancing Dolls

MEAC/SWAC Sports Clipboard

Compiled by beepbeep

The Southern University Board of Supervisors approved a new three-year, $200,000 annual contract for football coach Pete Richardson. Richardson is 121-52 in 15 seasons at Southern and 163-70-1 in 20 seasons overall, including five seasons at Winston-Salem State University. His current contract is set to expire on December 31. Richardson will continue to be paid $200,000 annually, which is one of the best salaries in the Football Championship Subdivision...

Photo: Southern University Dancing Dolls 2007.

Southern University (7-3, 5-3 Southwestern Athletic Conference) plays No. 16 Grambling State University (8-2, 8-0) in Bayou Classic XXXIV at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Superdome. Richardson is 12-2 in the Bayou Classic…

A Judge has issued an arrest warrant for Jackson State University's Jimmy Oliver, starting quarterback for the Tigers. Oliver apparently missed a Court date that hopefully will not land him in jail for 21 days and a fine for failure to appear. Magee Mississippi police arrested Oliver last month and he was charged with driving with a suspended license and possession of marijuana. JSU football coach Rick Comegy said he does not expect his quarterback to face any jail time after the case is reopened next week. The Tigers are scheduled to play Grambling State University in the SWAC Championship game in Birmingham on December 15…

NBC will air a half-hour special, “Every Man a Tiger: The Eddie Robinson Story,” presented commercial-free by State Farm and narrated by Andre Braugher, at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. A trailer can be viewed at This show is prior to the XXXIV Bayou Classic with Grambling State University and Southern University…

Photo: Tennessee State University Sophisticated Ladies 2007 .

Tennessee State won its first Ohio Valley Conference volleyball tournament championship Saturday in Jacksonville, Alabama beating Morehead State 30-24, 30-17, 29-31, 26-30, 15-12 to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Lady Tigers 17-6, will learn of their pairing on November 25 on the NCAA selection show at 7 p.m. on ESPNU...

Morgan State Bears improved to 3-1 as they beat American University 62-54 in their men basketball home opener Tuesday night. Jamar Smith scored 16 points and had three blocks for Morgan…

Hampton University defensive end Kendall Langford, 6-6, 295 pounds will play in the East-West Shrine Game set for January 19, 2008 in Houston, Texas...

Hampton University defensive end Marcus Dixon, 6-4, 295 pounds has been selected to play in the Hula Bowl, a college football all-star game NFL scouts use to evaluate draft prospects. Dixon will play for the East Squad in the game on January 12, 2008 in Honolulu, Hawaii. He led the Pirates this season with 16 tackles for loss, including a team-high six sacks. Dixon has started at defensive end for the Hampton since midway through his freshman season…

Photo: Alcorn State University Golden Girls 2007.

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker and former Hampton University standout Justin Durant has endowed an athletics scholarship at Hampton University. In the 2007 NFL draft, Durant was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars as the 16th pick of the second round and the 48th overall, making him the highest selection in Hampton University history and highest paid rookie from HU with a four-year $3.4 million contract, including $1.72 million in guarantees. Durant said that he simply wants to give back…

Delaware State University could not contain running back Omar Cuff, as University of Delaware beat Delaware State 44-7 today in the first-round of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. This was the first ever meeting between the two schools in football, located 45 minutes apart. Cuff ran for a school record 288 yards and four touchdowns against the Hornets before a Delaware Stadium record crowd of 19,765. The MEAC Champions Hornets ends the season at 10-2. UD advances at 9-3 to face the winner of #1 seed Northern Iowa and New Hampshire…

Florida A & M University Lady Rattlers ended their regular season in Volleyball in falling 3-0 (30-20, 30-28, 30-28) to the University of South Florida on Wednesday. The MEAC champions are 18-7 on the season and await their next opponent in the NCAA Tournament. FAMU won their seventh Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Title in a row and their eighth in nine seasons. The NCAA selection show is scheduled for 8p.m. Sunday on ESPNU...

Photo: University of Arkansas Pine Bluff M4 - Golden Girls.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Southern and Norfolk State leads in football home attendance

by beepbeep

The best barometer to gauge how well a football program is doing on the gridiron and in its marketing program is to check the NCAA FCS data on both accumulated attendance and average game attendance at the home stadium.

This past season, a mercurial rise in fan participation was shown by Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T State University and Tennessee State University. No one can successfully debate the point that the primary objective of sports marketing is to put fans in the stadium and arena seats and get sponsors.

Florida A&M University president Dr. James Ammons drove this point home with the firing of head football coach Rubin Carter and the resignation of athletic director Nelson Townsend, on Tuesday of this week. "In an environment like a college or university, athletics plays a big role in the institution," Ammons said. "There are many, many stakeholders with the university. We had an assessment on where we were. We sat down and looked at all of the data in terms of attendance and support for the program. There were a number of markers that we used and in the end we decided on the decision we made."

We are certain that a similar process took place at Texas Southern University, University of Arkansas Pine Bluff, Alcorn State University and other universities that are dismissing poorly performing coaching and athletic administrative staffs.

"We all know that the football program is the economic engine that drives the athletic program," Ammons said. "It is the money generator. For the overall athletic program to be successful the football program has to be successful."

That's just the way it is at FAMU, TxSO, UAPB or at any MEAC or SWAC school. A coach must first graduate his players and win. Then, football and basketball must generate revenue to operate the entire athletic programs with ticket sales, sponsorships, fundraising and development rights. That's the bottom line, today.

A few of the MEAC and SWAC schools showed improvement and the data attendance numbers shows who are growing their marketing programs in this one element of analyses. North Carolina A&T State University continues to go against the grain in proving that a strong marketing program can overcome an 0-27 losing record in football. We find it amazing that the Aggies have shown no appreciable drop in attendance numbers since their losing streak started in 2005. In fact, it has been the opposite with a rise in attendance for the Aggies.

The NCAA data in a nutshell illustrates what a strong athletic marketing can do for a schools with effective athletic administrators and top leaders.

Here is how the FCS HBCUs stacked up for 2007 in home attendance:

1. Southern University, ranked #6 in FCS; 18,913 average attendance; 5 home games, 78.81 accumulated percentage of stadium capacity. Record: 7-3* (* game w/Grambling on 11/24/07).

2. Norfolk State University, ranked #7 in FCS; 17,220 average attendance; 6 home games, 62.17% of stadium capacity. Record: 8-3

3. Tennessee State University (OVC), ranked #8 in FCS; 16,278 average attendance; 4 home games, 24.17% of stadium capacity. Record: 5-6

4. Jackson State University, ranked #11 in FCS; 16,100 average attendance; 6 home games, 25.75% of stadium capacity. Record: 7-4* (* in SWAC championship game w/Grambling).

5. Florida A&M University, ranked #12 in FCS; 15,193 average attendance; 4 home games, 59.58% of stadium capacity. Record: 3-8

6. North Carolina A&T, ranked #15 in FCS; 14,245 average attendance; 5 home games, 67.83% of stadium capacity. Record: 0-11* (27 game losing streak)

7. South Carolina State, ranked #19 in FCS; 13,206 average attendance; 4 home games, 60.03% of stadium capacity. Record: 7-4

8. Arkansas Pine Bluff, ranked #24 in FCS; 12,542 average attendance; 3 home games,
209.04% of stadium capacity. Record: 4-7

9. Grambling State, ranked #25 in FCS; 12,448 average attendance; 3 home games, 63.51% of stadium capacity. Record: *8-2 (has Southern and SWAC championship game w/Jackson State remaining to play).

10. Alabama State, ranked #28 FCS; 11,138 average attendance; 4 home games, 45.28% of stadium capacity. Record: 5-6

11. Prairie View, ranked #48 FCS; 7750 average attendance; 3 home games, 129.17% of stadium capacity. Record: 7-3.

**Winston Salem State (not ranked by NCAA due to provisional/reclassifying Division I FCS). 13,302 average attendance; 4 home games, 73.90% of stadium capacity. Record: 6-5

By data alone, Winston Salem State University would be ranked at #7 in all of the FCS class and 4th in the MEAC data standings.

Without going into great numerical details, here are the significant changes from 2006 to 2007:

a. Jackson State University dropped from FCS position #4 with 20,314 average to #11 with 16,100 average home attendance, moving from a 6-5 record to 7-4 and the SWAC championship game.

b. Southern remained in the #6 FCS position with home attendance rising from 16,453 to 18,913, moving from a 5-6 to *7-3 record in 2007.

c. FAMU dropped from FCS #7 position with home attendance falling from 15,916 to 15,193, moving from a 7-4 to 3-8 record.

d. SCSU dropped from FCS #13 position to #19, with attendance falling from 14,594 to 13,206 with a 7-4 record for both seasons.

e. Alcorn State ranked #14 FCS position with 13,318 in 2006, fell to #68 FCS with average attendance of 6,086 per game, moving from a 6-5 to a 3-8 record.

f. Grambling State ranked #15 FCS with 13,229 fell to #25 FCS with 12,448 in 2007, moving from a 3-8 record to *8-2.

g. Tennessee State ranked #19 FCS with 12,570 climbed to #8 FCS with 16,278.

h. Norfolk State ranked #23 FCS with 11,982 climbed to #7 with 17,220, moving from a 4-7 to 8-3 record.

i. North Carolina A&T ranked #25 FCS in 2006 with 11,596 climbed to #15 FCS with 14,245 home attendance for 5 home games in each season. Aggies record is 0-22 over two year period.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Norfolk State football home attendance tops in MEAC

by beepbeep, MEAC/SWAC Sports Main Street

Norfolk State University is tops in HBCU football for accumulated home attendance in 2007. The Spartans are ranked #7 in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision ("FCS"), formerly called Division 1-AA, with 103,320 accumulated attendance for six home games. NSU average game attendance was 17,220.

Their home facility, William "Dick" Price Stadium has a seating capacity of 30,000 and was built in 1997. It is recognized as one of the largest sports and entertainment venues in the Hampton Roads region and one of the 10 largest Division I FCS football stadiums in terms of capacity. Dick Price Stadium is one of the best facilities in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) along with the football facilities at North Carolina A&T State University and South Carolina State University.

Norfolk State completed their first winning season at the Division I level in 2007, with an 8-3 (7-2 MEAC) record and finished tied with South Carolina State University for second place in the standings. The Spartans moved from the Division II, Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association in 1997 to the MEAC.

Last year, Norfolk State finished 8th in the conference with a 4-7 (1-7 MEAC) record and #23 in accumulated home attendance with 83,871 for seven home games. The average attendance in 2006 was 11,982 per game.

The Spartans increased their home attendance 5,238 fans per game from 2006 to 2007 and doubled its wins from 4 to 8. For NSU, a winning record translated into over an estimated $550,000 in additional revenue for home games. The Spartans also played their first Division I FBC game this season at Rutgers University (lost 59-0) and netted $275,000 for their athletic budget.

The university's president Dr. Carolyn W. Meyers would like to see NSU continue to play I-A opponents – Kentucky is on the football team’s schedule next fall – because she likes the experience it offers the students, the student-athletes and the financial gain it provides. The Kentucky game will net Norfolk State $275,000 for the athletic budget in 2008.

Dr. Meyers is passionate about both academics and college football. She served previously as Dean, College of Engineering, North Carolina A&T State University and earned her PhD from the School of Chemical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). Both institutions have exceptional legacies in academics and championship football.

So, it's not difficult to see the vision Dr. Meyers has for Norfolk State University.

Norfolk State’s president, Dr. Carolyn W. Meyers eschews the president’s box at Dick Price Stadium for a seat in the stands near loyal Spartans fans.

Currently, Spartans Coach Pete Adrian is a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of Year Award and his team just missed getting an at-large invitation to the FCS Division I Playoffs for the national championship.

Not bad for a coach in his third season at NSU who went 4-7, 4-7 and 8-3 for a 16-17 record. Adrian was signed to a two year contract extension in September 2007, by athletic director Marty L. Miller that will keep him the Spartans coach until 2010.

NSU second largest home crowd was against former CIAA Division II rival Virginia State University in the season opener. The Spartans won 33-7 with 26,970 fans that was the third largest crowd in Dick Price Stadium history. It was also the 20th ranked highest attended game in the FCS for 2007.

Marty Miller has stated, "we've been pleased with the progress that has been made in our football program, both athletically and academically."

"The football program is moving in the right direction and we are happy with the improvement in attendance and with the caliber of student athlete that Coach Adrian has recruited."

The success of Norfolk State University athletics was initiated under the superb leadership of Dr. Marie V. McDemmond. She stepped down as president on June 30, 2005 due to serious health issues after serving eight years as president of Virginia's largest historically Black university. In 1997, Dr. McDemmond became the first woman to lead NSU and the first African-American woman to serve as president of a four-year college in Virginia. She was instrumental in the hiring of Pete Adrian, who at the time was a top assistant coach at Bethune Cookman University.

Using her background in fiscal management, Dr. McDemmond laid the foundation for NSU successful Division I athletic programs.

Norfolk State head football Coach Pete Adrian has taken the Spartans to new heights in winning and consistent fan support.

What's more amazing is Norfolk State home football attendance out-performed long time established Division I programs at Jackson State, Grambling State University, James Madison, Montana State, Northern Iowa, North Carolina A&T, Tennessee State, McNeese State, Texas State, South Carolina State, Harvard and Florida A&M University, just to name a few.

A brief synopsis of the Spartans achievements can be summarized as follows:

Norfolk State University - Ranked #10 in the FCS in 2006 with seven home games, 83,871 accumulated attendance, with per game average of 11,982. The accumulated percent of stadium capacity was 39.94 percent.

In 2007, NSU is the highest ranking HBCU and is ranked at #7 in the FCS with 103,320 accumulated attendance, a 23.78 percent increase over the previous season. The per game average is 17,220, a 43.71 percent increase over the previous season or 5,238 more fans per game. The accumulated percent of stadium capacity was 62.17.

What a difference a 4-7 record (2006) makes compared to 8-3 in 2007 at NSU.

The NCAA accumulated attendance reports indicate that the SWAC and MEAC ranks at the top of Division I FCS football conferences in attendance. The SWAC had the highest accumulated attendance at 824,740 or 15,561 per game in 2006. This was a change in average of 5,034 fans.

The Southern conference held the #2 position last season.

The MEAC held the #3 ranking with 599,871 attendance, 11,997 average, with a change in average of 2,030. Overall, attendance is rising in the FCS with MEAC teams like Norfolk State, Winston Salem State University and N.C. A&T leading the way.

The Spartans are scheduled to play at Kentucky in 2008. They were beat 59-0 at #5 ranked Rutgers in 2007, but look forward to more games with 1-A BCS programs.

By comparison, Florida A&M University, which has been the premier brand in HBCU sports for half of a century, was ranked #22 in 2006 in the FCS with 63,663 accumulated attendance with four home games. The per game average was 15,916 with the accumulated percent of stadium capacity at 62.41 percent.

FAMU fell to #25 in the FCS with 60,773 accumulated attendance in four home games this past season. The per game average decreased to 15,193 per game and the accumulated percentage of stadium capacity fell to 59.58 percent for the four home games. The Rattlers lost approximately 723 fans per game average or 2.83 percent of accumulated percent of stadium capacity per game.

Not surprisingly, FAMU's new president Dr. James Ammons swiftly dumped head football coach Rubin Carter (16-17) and his entire staff, along with athletic director Nelson Townsend in order to move the Rattlers in a new direction. Like NSU, Ammons takes a bottom-line approach to athletics--making certain that the student in student-athlete comes first. And then, too, you have to win. It's no secret, the Spartans and Rattlers leaders are striving for the very highest success in both academics and athletic programs. And that's the way it should be at all HBCUs.

The upward trend in attendance were exhibited in both teams neutral site or Classic games. The Battle of the Bay Classic game, which is played between Norfolk State and Hampton University was the #62 highest attended game in last year. The game attendance was 18,157 at Hampton.

The Classic was the highest attended game played at Dick Price Stadium this season and was ranked #17 in the FCS with 27,756 fans in attendance. Fan participate increased 9,599 or a 59.9 percent uptick over the previous year game. This is the only classic game played by Norfolk State University.

FAMU played three "money games,"
i.e., Atlanta Classic, Circle City Classic and the Florida Classic. The football Rattlers and their famous Marching 100 Band usually attract over 197,000 fans to these three football games.

The Florida Classic, played between Florida A&M and Bethune Cookman University in Orlando, Florida each season has been the #1 ranked attended game in the FCS Division I for the past five years. This is a rivalry of major proportions with statewide bragging and recruit rights at stake.

Both institutions earns over $1.2 million each from this one game which is a tremendous help for each athletic department budget.

This year, the Florida Classic lost its #1 positioning in the FCS highest game attendance ranking as fan participation dipped from 71,216 to 65,367. This was a decrease of 5,849 ticket sales or an 8.22 percent decrease in overall attendance.

The Magic City Classic, played in Birmingham between Alabama A&M and Alabama State University now holds the distinction as the top attendance holder with 68,593 in attendance.

The Florida Classic is now ranked #2 and may slide further this weekend a the conclusion of the Bayou Classic in New Orleans with Grambling State University (8-2) and Southern University (7-3) of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

What we can conclude from this data is that winning in football and other major sports have a direct impact to high fan participation, corporate sponsorships, alumni donations, prestige, recognition, increased enrollment, expanded gift giving and growing endowments. College football is the major economic engine for both the institution, the local business community and the athletic department.

Five years ago, Florida A&M University and North Carolina A&T State University were the models of success in the MEAC and HBCU sports. No more--as that baton has been taken by Norfolk State both on the football field and in the spectator stands.

No doubt, Norfolk University is moving in a very positive direction--the right direction--and the NCAA attendance data and financial results shows that their strategic plans are working efficiently and effectively.

The Spartans athletic program provides an excellent model worthy of further study by other FCS programs that are not competitive financially nor athletically. Norfolk State athletics are clearly built on a solid foundation addressing all the needs of the university stakeholders and is a valuable asset to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

2007 Norfolk State University Spartans Legion Marching Band and Hot Ice Dancers -- Half-Time Show at North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, N.C.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Battle of Bands: Grambling State vs. Jackson State

Part I: Jackson State University Sonic Boom of the South 2007

Part II, Grambling State University Tiger Marching Band 2007

FAMU begins hiring process for new athletics director and head football coach

Audio of Florida A&M University President Dr. James Ammons press conference - November 20, 2007, including questions and answers with press corps.

Audio Link:

FAMU president released the following statements today involving the termination of the Rattlers athletic director and head football coach.

Press Release: November 20, 2007

Tallahassee, Fla. - Florida A&M University (FAMU) President James H. Ammons said today he would begin the hiring process for a new Athletic Director and Head Coach.

Athletic Director Nelson Townsend resigned today and will be on administrative leave with pay until February 12, 2008, his last day of employment. Head Football Coach Rubin Carter, received a "notice of non-reappointment and employment separation." He has been placed on administrative leave with pay. His last day of employment is April 22, 2008.

Ammons said that he would fill the positions by the end of the year. He announced to the staff in the athletics department this morning that Allen Bogan, an assistant professor and former assistant football coach, would serve as interim until a permanent director is hired.

"I am appreciative of tremendous work Mr. Townsend and Coach Carter have done during the period when we were working to address the NCAA sanctions," said Ammons. "We want to move in a new direction with the athletics program. I'm moving forward with the hiring process."

Townsend began his tenure at FAMU in January 2006 as the athletics director. He has had more than 30 years of experience in athletics and education. He previously served as director of athletics at FAMU from 1986-1987. He also served as athletic director at University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Delaware State University and the University of Buffalo.

Carter was appointed head coach in July 2005. He was an All-American defensive lineman at the University of Miami in 1974 and had a 12-year career in the National Football League with the Denver Broncos. Prior to coming to FAMU, Carter had more than 18 years of professional and collegiate coaching experience.

Compiled by beepbeep

FAMU AD Nelson Townsend and Coach Rubin Carter era ends...

Florida A&M University president Dr. James Ammons has made it official with the immediate departure of athletic director Nelson Townsend and head football coach Rubin Carter. Mr. Townsend submitted his letter of resignation this morning in response to the request of the university president.

Dr. Ammons named professor Allen Bogan, a former Rattlers football coach, as interim athletic director.

Rubin Carter has refused to resign as the university will have to buy out his $250,000 contract. The president has informed Carter that the university will be moving in a new direction. All of Coach Carter's assistant coaches have been given letters indicating that they will be paid until February 2008, but they will not be retained.

The FAMU president will hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. today to discuss the matter.

Pictorial view of Carter 2007 3-8 season...

2007 Battle of Bands: SU Human Jukebox vs. UAPB M4

Southern University Human Jukebox Marching Band

University of Arkansas Pine Bluff Marching Musical Machine of the Mid-South (M4)

2007 Battle of Bands: SCSU vs. NCAT

Lowcountry Classic 2007 Half-Time Shows

South Carolina State University Marching 101

North Carolina A&T State University Blue & Gold Marching Machine

2007 Florida Classic: Battle of the Bands - FAMU vs. BCU

Florida A&M University Marching 100

Florida Classic Halftime FAMU 2007

Bethune Cookman University Wildcats

Florida Classic Halftime BCU 2007

Florida A&M University Marching 100 - Concert Selection

Bethune Cookman University Wildcats - Concert Selection

Florida A&M University Marching 100

Bethune Cookman University Wildcats

Florida A&M University Marching 100

Monday, November 19, 2007

FAMU, UAPB and Alcorn State clean athletic house

Compiled by beepbeep

Florida A&M University president Dr. James Ammons did what was expected this afternoon to move the Rattlers athletic program to the championship level. Head football Coach Rubin Carter was fired! His boss, athletic director Nelson Townsend was fired! Both were hired under the administration of former interim president Castell Bryant.

Carter leaves Florida A&M with a 16-17 record, including 3-8, 2-7 MEAC in 2007. In his final game for the Rattlers, FAMU was blasted by Bethune Cookman University (5-6, 3-6 MEAC) 34-7 before a Florida Classic crowd of 65,367.

More details will follow as they are released by the University.

Alcorn State University head football coach Dr. Johnny Thomas was fired this afternoon, and the university announced in a press release that a search for a replacement will begin immediately. Thomas had a 48-61 record in 10 years as the Braves coach and ended 2007 with a 2-8 season. Dr. Thomas has been offered other non-coaching options at the university. He served as an assistant professor of health and physical education at the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff, prior to returning to his alma mater in 1998 to head the football program.

The University of Arkansas Pine Bluff fired head football coach Maurice "Mo" Forte today and named current defensive coordinator Monte Coleman as the permanent head coach. In four seasons, Forte held a 21-22 record with the Golden Lions and 69-89-1 overall in a 14 year career. The Golden Lions finished 4-7 this season, but were the SWAC-West Division Champions in 2006, with an 8-4 record.

The 50 year old Coleman is a Pine Bluff native who played professional football for the Washington Redskins for 16 seasons (1979-94). As an All-Pro linebacker, Coleman played in four Super Bowls, winning three; and 216 games which is second most in Washington Redskin history. Athletic director Skip Perkins indicated that UAPB and Coleman were working out the details of a five year contract.

Coleman has been on the Golden Lions staff for four seasons, serving the last two as defensive coordinator. He is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas.

UAPB will open next season at home on August 30, 2008, against the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

FAMU's Carter and Townsend, UAPB's Mo Forte, and Alcorn State's Dr. Johnny Thomas officially joins Texas Southern Steven Wilson, 4-38 as coaches/administrators released from the MEAC/SWAC in 2007.

Head Coach Lee Fobbs is 0-22 in his second season at North Carolina A&T State University and the school has a 27 game losing streak dating back to 2005. Mississippi Valley State University Willie Totten is 25-41 and just completed a 3-8, 2-7 SWAC season. We expect some action to be taken on their futures in the coming weeks.

Prairie View A&M University announced this afternoon that Henry Frazier III has received a four year contract extension for leading the Panthers to their best record in 41 years. PVAMU finished 7-3, 6-3 SWAC, with signature victories over Jackson State University and Alabama A&M University with both battling for an East Division position in the SWAC championship game. The Panthers finished their season in second place in the West Division of the SWAC behind Grambling State University.

Road to the FCS Crown: Delaware State Hornets vs. Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens

by beepbeep

Photo: Delaware State University Head Football Coach Al Lavan moves the 2007 MEAC Champion Hornets (10-1) into the NCAA FCS Playoffs for the first time in school history at University of Delaware (8-3).

The road to the 2007 NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Crown starts with a historic game with Delaware State University Hornets playing at the University of Delaware Fightin' Blue Hens on Black Friday. This is to no one's surprise especially understanding the power of the NCAA and ESPN television in their pursuit of revenue and viewership ratings.

No, this is not a story about Black verses White, but about an over-hyped made for ESPN television game on the Day After Thanksgiving (Black Friday) or Blitz Day. It's all about Blue and Gold or the Red and Black and its ability to unify a tiny State for a few hours and maybe develop a new understanding and respect for each other.

The NCAA Executives with an eye on protecting its image and product, did what the University of Delaware athletic director Edgar Johnson refused to do for the past twenty years--schedule the game to start a good football rivalry. It's unfortunate that it took outside forces of the NCAA to do what is natural for two Division I teams in a very small State to do, which is just play the game for the benefit of your fans.

University of Delaware is located in Newark; Delaware State University is in Dover, which is only 49 miles and about 45 minutes apart. Both are NCAA FCS Division I and play in the Colonial Athletic Conference and Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, respectively. In other words, they play Division I-AA football, not major college ball.

The network desire to see Delaware State play University of Delaware on blitz day comes at the expense of other FCS teams that sports more than a 7-3 record against same division competition, like University of Delaware. If you want to talk about strength of schedule, you cannot speak Delaware name in that conversation with Division II, Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West Chester University taking up permanent residence on the UD Blue Hens home schedule.

Delaware's 8-3 record has been inflated for 39 years with this annual home date with the West Chester Golden Rams. UD leads the series 36-3, with all games being played at the Blue Hens home stadium. This is nothing more than an annual "money game" for West Chester who plays in the weakest D-II league in America with teams named Lock Haven (1-10), Cheyney (1-10), Clarion (0-11), Shippenburg (3-8) or East Stroudsburg (3-6), just to name a few and their 2007 records.

We see no difference with Norfolk State University (8-3, 6-2 MEAC) playing CIAA Virginia State University (4-6); or Georgia Southern (7-4, 4-3 SO), Elon (7-4, 4-3 SO), or Citadel (7-4, 4-3 SO) being left out of the mix by the eight man NCAA selection committee. Georgia Southern had quality road wins over Southern Conference co-champions Appalachian State and Wofford, who made the elite field. One could debate that Villanova is a better 5-3 conference team than UD, as they beat the Hens last week and so did New Hampshire (7-4, 4-4 CAA), who's in, and Villanova is not.

This season, Delaware beat: Monmouth (4-6, 3-3 NEC), William and Mary (4-7, 2-6 CAA), Rhode Island (3-8, 2-6 CAA), Towson (3-8, 1-7 CAA), Northeastern (3-8, 2-6 CAA), James Madison (8-3, 6-2 CAA), Navy (I-A Indep. 7-4) and West Chester (Div. II, 9-3 PSAC). On the loss side of the schedule, UD dropped games to Richmond (9-2, 7-1 CAA), Villanova (7-4, 5-3 CAA) and New Hampshire (7-4, 4-4 CAA).

So, where is that strength of schedule that the NCAA committee was viewing for Delaware to be included in this affair? In ten inter-divisional games, the combined record of UD opponents were 55-54, excluding the D-II foe West Chester.

We see absolutely no reason that Al Lavan and the Hornets will not crush Delaware in this contest. UD should be well rested after playing only five games of equal division and strength, no difference than Delaware State playing Norfolk State, Hampton, South Carolina State, Winston Salem State in the MEAC and Kent State in the Mid-American Conference.

After 83 years of avoidance, the Blue Hens are now forced (by the NCAA selection committee) to do the right thing in the spirit of sportsmanship, fellowship, fairness and face the Hornets on the gridiron. This has been a long time coming and after this game, hopefully the UD leadership will understand the term, football rivalry.

Before everyone puts tremendous pressure on 18-22 year old college football players, we have a few words of advice for the Delaware State Hornets and their few pro prospects.

First, win this game for yourselves and the opportunity to move to Round 2. Then, win it for your coaches, alma mater and the fans that have supported your program. Thirdly, win it for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and every doubter that says DSU doesn't measure up to the University of Delaware. Finally, win it for the principles of fairness, equality and---the NCAA selection committee that continues to stack the deck against every other NCAA conference that doesn't have CAA in its name.

With FIVE Colonial Athletic Conference teams that make up 31 percent of the championship field, how can the NCAA selection committee be so bold and reckless in this process?

Let's just play the game and every year hereafter, Delaware!


First Round

• Delaware St. (10-1) at Delaware (8-3), 1:30 p.m. Televised: ESPN HD

Fordham (8-3) at Massachusetts (9-2), Noon
• New Hampshire (7-4) at Northern Iowa (11-0), 7:35 p.m.
• James Madison (8-3) at Appalachian State (9-2), TBA
• Eastern Illinois (8-3) at Southern Illinois (10-1), TBA
• Eastern Washington (8-3) at McNeese State (11-0), TBA
Wofford (8-3) at Montana (11-0), TBA
• Eastern Kentucky (9-2) at Richmond (9-2), TBA


Saturday, Dec. 1
• Delaware State-Delaware winner vs. New Hampshire-Northern Iowa winner, TBA
Fordham-Massachusetts winner vs. Eastern Illinois-Southern Illinois winner, TBA
• James Madison-Appalachian State winner vs. Eastern Washington-McNeese State winner, TBA
• Eastern Kentucky-Richmond winner vs. Wofford-Montana winner, TBA


Friday Dec. 7 or Saturday, Dec. 8


Friday, Dec. 14
At Finley Stadium/Davenport Field, Chattanooga, Tenn., 8 p.m.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Morning After the Florida Classic

by beepbeep

Florida A&M University 2007 football season was terrible, uninspiring and certainly not entertaining unless you were expecting to watch a horror flick.

I'm not going to waste the winter, spring and summer months dissecting why the Rattlers were so bad. It really doesn't matter, as ultimately the head coach is totally responsible. So, look no further than the top guy, the all-pro, the talent selector, recruiter, X and 0 man for all the answers. I'm sure the excuses will be plentiful and it won't change the outcome--the Rattlers are 16-17 the past three years. If you want to add the 2004 1-A season to the mix, make that 19-25.

For ole Rattlers like me, that more than I can stomach.

FCS No. 5 ranked Southern Illinois University of the Gateway conference recently had the same problems as FAMU.

This is the 10-1 Salukis program that trampled former three time MEAC champions Hampton University yesterday 45-27 (in Hampton, VA), on their way to the 2007 NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. Southern Illinois will be making their fifth consecutive appearance in the playoffs as the #4 Seed and their only loss this season came from Gateway foe, No. 1 ranked FCS Northern Iowa (#1 Seed), the Gateway conference champions. The Salukis also beat Division I FBC Northern Illinois.

Prior to the hiring of head coach Jerry Kill in 2001, Southern Illinois had 11 consecutive losing season. The Salukis had never won a gateway conference championship and now, they've won three straight. They had been to the playoffs only once in school history and now its five straight playoffs appearances. In 2005, the Salukis beat Eastern Illinois to win their first playoff game since 1983. The Salukis spent 10 weeks atop the I-AA polls, and Kill was named the winner of the Eddie Robinson Award honoring the Coach of the Year in I-AA in 2004.

But it wasn't always that way.

Kill first season was 1-10; his second 4-8 before the over achiever's resurrection of Saluki football with consecutive playoff campaigns beginning in 2003 with 10-2, 10-2, 9-4, 9-4, and 10-1 in 2007. In 2004, his squad was remarkable with the defense ranked #1 in the nation in points allowed, while the offense ranked #3 in points scored. The team set a record for consecutive home wins with 12 and broke numerous statistical records on offense and defense.

Southern Illinois 2004 season came on the heels of a exceptional 2003 campaign in which SI shocked the world of I-AA football by winning its first 10 games and advancing to the playoffs for the first time in 20 years. Kill was runner-up for the Eddie Robinson Award in `03.

Raised in a working class family, Kill became the first member of his family to graduate from college, earning a teaching degree with a minor in biology for Division II Southwestern College, Kansas. His head coaching gigs were at Division II Saginaw Valley State (Mich) and Emporia State (Kan).

Much closer to home, Grambling State's Melvin Spears once had similar problems like FAMU.

After Spears firing, Rod Broadway who built North Carolina Central University into a Division II powerhouse in four years, steps in with vision and experience. In one season, Coach Broadway moved Grambling State forward with an undefeated conference record 8-0 SWAC and two competitive losses to Football Bowl Championship division Big East Conference Pittsburg (L 34-10) and Louisiana -Monroe (L 28-14) of the Sun Belt Conference. The Tigers will face Jackson State for the SWAC Championship on December 15, after playing Southern University next weekend in the Bayou Classic.

Not bad for a coach that is using the other guy's players. Broadway has the opportunity to end the season at 10-2, with an FCS No. 18 ranking or higher if the Tigers take care of business with Southern (Bayou Classic) and Jackson State in the conference championship game.

Under Spears, Grambling State was 3-8 in 2006.

"I'm really proud of these kids," Broadway said. "We have some good kids that wanted to be a championship-type football team. They've done a good job of listening, learning and buying in. "You should have a chance to be successful here. Not being critical, but we've got to recruit a better athlete than what we have. If we can do that, we can be really successful in this league."

When Prairie View A&M University went searching for a program change, it reached down to Division II and East to Bowie State University. There, it selected Henry Frazier III to resurrect a program that had 20 head coaches over the past 31 years, without a winning season. In fact, PVAMU holds the modern era NCAA Division I record with 80 consecutive losses.

Frazier believed he was given the opportunity to head the best Division I program in America. Never mind the fact that Prairie View last winning season was when Frazier was in third grade and that the school had the second smallest budget in the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

None of that fazed Frazier and he steadily improved the program, moving from a 3-8 record in 2006 to the school's best record in 41 years at 7-3, 6-3 SWAC.

Prairie View second place finish behind Grambling State in the West Division is a tremendous improvement for the program and a confidence builder that you can move mountains with solid coaching, hard work, vision and initiative.

No one questions the facts that having good facilities, administrative support, commitment of the fan base and top student-athletes can help the advancement to the top quicker.

Take for example, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference foe Norfolk State University.

For ten years, the Spartans faithful laid the foundation with top-notch facilities, financial and fan support and increased scholarships in their methodical transition from Division II, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association to Division I, MEAC. For seven years, NSU won nothing more than the rights to be on every one's homecoming schedule.

This all changed when the University president went outside the box and hired Pete Adrian three years ago. Adrian had 38 years of coaching experience, 33 at the collegiate level. At Rhode Island, he was on staff for three Yankee Conference championships and NCAA playoff teams.

Coach Adrian has been named one of 16 finalists for the 2007 Eddie Robinson Award, given annually by The Sports Network to the national Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Coach of the Year. His Spartans are tied for second in the MEAC with SCSU, with a slight outside chance of going to the FCS playoffs.

After taking over a program that won two games combined in 2003 and 2004, Adrian has turned NSU into a winner in just three years. After consecutive four-win seasons his first two years (2005 and 2006), Adrian guided the Spartans to a 8-3 record in 2007. Under Adrian’s guidance, NSU clinched the program’s first winning record in the Division I era (since 1997), won a program-best six MEAC games (6-2 record), a final Top 30 FCS ranking (#28)and lead the program in its first FBS Division I game against #5 ranked Rutgers.

I don't know about you--Rattlers, but it has been so long that I cannot recall the last time a FAMU football team was ranked in the Top 25 in the division nor loss 25 games over a four year span. I find no peace in measuring the Rattlers against North Carolina A&T State University and their 27 consecutive losses or having our beloved Rattlers viewed as a conference and FCS cupcake. What are (Mighty) Rattlers without the mighty but just plain old garden snakes with no bite.

Even a patient person runs out of patience--just ask a Prairie View, Aggies or Rattlers fan.

MEAC/SWAC Scoreboard 11/17/2007

Compiled by beepbeep

Congratulations to Norfolk State University for their record setting season in the 10th year of playing Division I football. The Spartans (8-3,7-2 MEAC)were the surprise team of the year contending for the MEAC championship with Delaware State. NSU ends the year with a 23-20 victory over Winston Salem State University Rams (6-5, 5-4 MEAC)and tied for second place in the conference with SCSU. Over 8,093 fans enjoyed NSU, who appears to have won the home attendance record for 2007 in HBCU football over Southern University. Both the Rams and Spartans have shown that they will be championship teams in the near future in the MEAC and strong home attendance.

NSU: Behold, the Green and Gold! WSSU: No doubt, WSSU defense is RAM tough!

It was record setting day at South Carolina State University. Lee Fobbs Aggie team was blasted 51-7 in front of 13,083 fans with sophomore Will Ford steamrolling the N.C. A&T defense for 322 yards on 21 carries and one touchdown. Senior Cleveland McCoy became the #1 passer in SCSU history surpassing 6,133 yards with two touchdown passes. The Bulldogs scored 31 straight points on Fobbs defense and ran up 632 yards of offense on the Aggies. SCSU finished a disappointing season at 7-4, 7-2 MEAC, tied with Norfolk State for second place in the conference.

North Carolina A&T finished its second virgin season (0-11). Coach Fobbs is 0-22 in two seasons in his first job as head coach and the Aggies losing streak is extended to a record 27 consecutive games. Just one question for Coach Buddy Pough---Did you run up the score on North Carolina A&T after leading 37-7 at the end of the third quarter just to set individual player records? Buddy should be flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct!

Hampton University Pirates got pounded 45-27 by #5 ranked FCS Southern Illinois before 3,340 Pirate fans at Armstrong Stadium. In victory, SI tied a school record with its 10th regular season win. The FCS playoff bound Salukis are 10-1, 5-1 in the Gateway Conference behind FCS #1 ranked Northern Iowa (11-0, 6-1 Gateway). Hampton played a competitive game but was burned for 282 yards and three touchdowns by quarterback Nick Hill on 24/28 passes. The Pirates T.J. Mitchell also passed for 280 yards and 3 touchdowns on 23/37 passes and led Hampton to 411 yards of offense. SI gained 474 yards and was able to score on the fastest defensive backfield in the MEAC on a 76 yard run, 28 yard pass and a 29 yard pass play. Hampton finishes their season at 6-5, 5-4 MEAC for 4th place with DI provisional - Winston Salem State University, who finished with the same record.

Tennessee State University (5-6, 4-3 OVC) had five turnovers in a 43-38 loss to University of Tennesseee - Martin (4-7, 4-4) to end their season. Calvin McNairl, a true freshman quarterback for TSU had three interceptions on 8/22 passes for 173 yards. Running back Javarris Williams rushed for four touchdowns and 162 yards on just nine carries before a crowd of 7,859 fans. Dominique Rodgers had a 92 yard kickoff return for a touchdown in third quarter.

Before 32,506 fans at the Capital City Classic, Jackson State University (7-4,7-2 SWAC)was able to overcome a early 6-0 Alcorn State (2-8, 2-7 SWAC)lead to score 24 unanswered points to win at home 31-19. This was possibly Dr. Johnny Thomas last game as head of Alcorn's football program, and he had no answer for Rick Comegy's quick strike offense. Grambling awaits Jackson State in the December 15th SWAC Championship game.

Prairie View A&M Panthers (7-3, 6-3 SWAC) indirectly helped Jackson State University win the east division title outright by humbling Alabama A&M University Bulldogs (8-3, 6-3) by a 30-20 score. The Bulldog loss and JSU win gave the Tigers the SWAC East Division title and a date with West Division champs, Grambling State University. The loss may drop AAMU from receiving an NCAA FCS At-Large playoff bid but we must await the selection committee announcement.

Prairie View finishes their season with the most wins in 40 years, but more importantly, their first winning season in a long time. In four seasons, coach Henry Frazier III has taken the worst program in the country with the second smallest football budget in the SWAC and reconstructed the Panthers into a second place finisher behind west division leader, Grambling State.

Over 7,782 Panthers fans watched PVAMU take a 21-0 half-time lead on the Bulldogs with a 73 yard punt return by Anthony Weeden in the first quarter. Calvin Harris one yard run in the second quarter moved the score to 14-0 with the PAT, and quarterback Mark Spivey 3 yard pass to Gabrael Osaze Ediae and the PAT closed out the scoring in the first half.

Texas Southern (0-10) played inspired football before 750 fans, but it was not enough to keep Arkansas Pine Bluff (4-7) from recording a 20-10 defeat over the Tigers. TxSU has one more game with the C-USA West Division Champs, University of Houston Cougars (7-4, 6-2 C-USA). Texas Southern may end the season as a virgin at 0-11 and a 13 game losing streak.

UAPB Mo Forte coached his last game for the Golden Lions and is expected to be fired on Monday, with a buyout of the final year of his $120,000 contract.

The Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils (3-8, 2-7 SWAC) took Savannah State (1-9) to the woodshed for a 28-3 victory. SSU rushed for 38 yards on 30 attempts against the Delta Devils. Savannah State's coach Theo Lemon finishes his second season with a 1-9 record. No doubt, both of these programs need better athletes and should put out the welcome signs for all D-I transfers.