By// Donal Ware
Bethune-Cookman edged defending MEAC Champion Norfolk State Spartans by one point for the top spot in week one of both the Boxtorow Media and Coaches’ Polls.
The Spartans finished No. 1 last season in the coaches’ poll and received nine first place votes, but Bethune-Cookman had 138 points, to NSU’s 137 points in both polls.
The one point separating the Wildcats and No. 2 Norfolk State was the closest margin ever in the coaches’ poll.
This also marked the first time since Boxtorow began administering the coaches’ poll in 2009 and media poll in 2007 that the champions from the year before, while winning their opening games of the season, did not top the poll in week one.
Boxtorow HBCU National Champion Winston-Salem State finished No. 1 in the media poll last year and defeated UNC Pembroke 28-23 on Saturday.
Norfolk State defeated Virginia State 24-0 on Saturday. Bethune-Cookman defeated highly touted Alabama State 38-28 in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge on Sunday.
MEAC teams have the top three spots in the coaches’ poll this week and four overall, with Morgan State at No. 9. The SWAC has five teams represented, while Tennessee State, representing the OVC, sees its highest rank ever in the poll at No. 4.
The SWAC leads the media poll with four teams, followed by the MEAC with three. Fort Valley State represents the SIAC, and Winston-Salem State the CIAA.
Alcorn State, which defeated Grambling State 22-21 in the Port City Classic in Shreveport on Saturday, enters both polls for the first time ever.
|2||Norfolk State (3)||1-0||137|
|3||South Carolina State||1-0||123|
|4||Winston-Salem State (8)||1-0||117|
|9||Fort Valley State||1-0||31|
Other receiving votes: Texas Southern (1-0) 27, Albany State (1-0) 26, Grambling State (0-1) 19, Florida A&M (0-1) 14, Delaware State (1-0) 9, Morehouse (0-1) 7, Howard (1-0) 6, Morgan State (1-0) 5, Hampton (0-1) 4, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-0) 3, Miles (0-1) 2, North Carolina Central (1-0) 2, Saint Augustine’s (1-0) 2, Bowie State (1-0) 1.
|2||Norfolk State (9)||1-0||137||1|
|3||South Carolina State (2)||1-0||125||6|
Others receiving votes: Grambling State (0-1) 28, Florida A&M (0-1) 18, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-0) 12, Howard (1-0) 12, North Carolina Central (1-0) 9, North Carolina A&T (0-1) 8, Hampton (0-1) 6, Prairie View A&M (0-1) 6, Delaware State (1-0) 4.
The Boxtorow HBCU FCS Coaches’ poll is administered by FROM THE PRESS BOX TO PRESS ROW and is voted on by the HBCU Football Championship Subdivision coaches. The Media poll is voted on by top media members around the country who cover HBCU sports.