HBCU coaches band of brothers during playoffs

4ed7d1777c6c7a954efb78bfc19f953cBradford Gillens | Bethune-Cookman Wildcats Examiner|

When the 2013 NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoff pairings were announced last Sunday on ESPNU, of the 24 teams selected, three of them (Bethune-Cookman, South Carolina State, Tennessee State) were from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. It was the first time three HBCU’s had been selected for the postseason since 1999 (FAMU, Hampton, Tenn. State).  Bethune-Cookman won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference’s automatic berth, while South Carolina State (MEAC) and Tennessee State (Ohio Valley) were selected as at-large participants.

During the regular season, those teams forge some of the most intense rivalries in FCS football but once the playoffs begin, it’s not uncommon to hear coaches from opposing teams rooting for their HBCU brethren to do well in the tournament.

For head coach Brian Jenkins of Bethune-Cookman, he was extremely excited to see all three schools make the field of 24.

“I think it would speak volumes about the direction of where HBCU football is headed, Jenkins said. We play football just like every other school and because of our establishment I don’t think that should be taken into any type of consideration when you look at the brand of football.”

Read on: http://www.examiner.com/article/hbcu-coaches-band-of-brothers-during-playoffs?CID=examiner_alerts_article

Repost of “THE BELT”

The beltAt the conclusion of the 2012 Florida Blue Florida Classic, coach Brian Jenkins was seen hugging players, celebrating with the Marching Wildcats, and very conspicuously wearing a 2012 MEAC Champions Belt that was large enough and elaborate enough to make Hulk Hogan envy.

Some fifteen (15) or so minutes after first being spotted with his new ornate accessory, coach Jenkins met with members of the media for his normal postgame recap.  There it was again; this time prominently displayed on the conference room table almost touching the fiery coach’s left elbow.  There was no attempt at modesty.  No attempt to conceal it.  It was as if coach Jenkins was silently screaming for someone to ask about THE BELT…and so I did.

The third year coach rather foxily revealed that THE BELT was an inside thing between him and his team.  “I have been telling (our football team) about the belt.  You want to be the one to put on the belt in the end” Jenkins exclaimed.

At this past Saturday’s 2012 Championship Team Banquet inside the North Tower Ballroom at the Hilton Hotel located directly on Daytona Beach, coach Jenkins revealed to the 350 Wildcat supporters in attendance the inside story behind THE BELT.

The story goes as follows:

Shortly after being named as the fifteenth (15) head football coach at Bethune-Cookman, Brian Jenkins had a chance encounter with a Florida A&M football fan.  The FAMU fan approached the newly appointed coach and said let me show you something.  He reached into his back pocket and unfolded a piece of paper.  Listed on the paper were the results of all of the Florida Classics including the previous two (2); both of which FAMU won. 

The FAMU fan was undoubtedly sending a clear message to the precocious new coach of what he should expect when facing the mighty Rattlers.

As fate would have it, coach Jenkins bumped into the same Rattler fan nearly a year later.  The FAMU fan, feeling emboldened by his Rattlers’ upset victor over the Wildcats in the 2010 Florida Classic, even more vigorously than the year before flagged down coach Jenkins and again pulled out a folded piece of paper from his back pocket.  It was an up-to-date history of the Florida Classic results.  The FAMU fan proudly and boastfully pointed to his team’s upset win in 2010.  It was shortly after that encounter that the idea of THE BELT was conceived in Brian Jenkins’ mind.  Jenkins decided if his team could win the MEAC crown and win the Florida Classic, he would supply every graduating senior with his very own Championship Belt.

Senior Class awarded Championship Belts

Senior Class awarded Championship Belts

What better way to memorialize the hardwork, sacrifice, and dedication that’s required to become MEAC and Florida Classic champs than to provide the senior class with Championship Belts.  And besides, a Heavyweight caliber Championship Belt trumps a folded piece of paper any day.

Coach Jenkins’ statement to the media after the 2012 Florida Blue Florida Classic now makes so much more sense: “…in the end, you want to be the one to put on the belt.”

THE BELT is brilliant in everything that it represents.  It is the proverbial gauntlet slap in the face, a one-upper, a ‘step ya game up’ if you will.  It is a unique memento, it epitomizes excellence, symbolizes hardwork and sacrifice, and it is meant to draw a line in the sand.  If you want THE BELT, come and take it.  If you want to keep THE BELT, then be prepared to defend it.  So keep your folded piece of paper and I will raise you a Championship Belt.

Interestingly, coach Jenkins stated that the last time he spotted the FAMU fan who flagged him down and showed off his folded piece of paper was shortly after the 2010 season.  Coincidence? Maybe but not likely!

A source within the BCU Athletic department could not confirm whether THE BELT is a one year phenomenon or a new tradition for each senior class who wins both a MEAC and Florida Classic championship in the same season.  Personally, I hope this becomes a new tradition.  A new goal of sorts for each class of seniors.  I think coach Jenkins said it best: “in the end, you want to be the one to put on the belt”.

Congratulations to all the guys who earned the right to wear THE BELT!!!

Jenkins fined by MEAC for Critizing Officials

IMG_0941Bethune-Cookman head football coach Brian Jenkins has received a letter of reprimand and has been fined by the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference for his public comments concerning officiating following the Bethune-Cookman/North Carolina Central football game on Saturday, November 2, Commissioner Dennis Thomas announced today.

Coach Jenkins violated the MEAC’s Bylaw on criticizing officials which states that members of the coaching staffs, student-athletes, or other representatives of participating institutions shall not make public statements critical of officiating in any MEAC contests or events.

“It is unfortunate that Coach Jenkins decided to violate the conference’s policy on criticizing officials,” Thomas said.  “I hope that in the future that he will be in compliance with the policy.”

MEAC Roundup – 11/2/2013

Credits: DSUHornets

Credits: DSUHornets

MEAC ROUNDUP: Defending champion Bethune-Cookman (8-1, 5-0) continued their dominant play Saturday, bowling over North Carolina Central (4-5, 2-3), 38-14 in a nationally-televised 12 noon bout at Durham, N.C.

The ‘Cats win kept them one game ahead of South Carolina State (6-3, 4-1) in the standings. SCSU rebounded from last week’s head-to-head loss at Daytona Beach, with a 45-9 romp over Savannah State (1-9, 0-6) at Savannah, Georgia.

Clearly the game of the day had to be Delaware State’s last gasp 22-20 win over visiting Howard at Dover, as Mitchell Ward booted a 26-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Hornets (4-5, 4-2) into sole possession of third place, while Howard (2-4, 3-7) had its’ two-game winning streak snapped, to drop into 10th place.

In other MEAC action, Morgan State (3-6, 3-2) bolted to a big lead, then withstood a Hampton University comeback to sink the Pirates (3-6, 3-2), 30-27 at Baltimore, leaving the two squads tied for fourth place in the standings.

North Carolina A&T (5-3, 2-3) crushed visiting Virginia University at Lynchburg, 59-12 at homecoming in Greensboro, N.C., while another homecoming didn’t go so well, as visiting Florida A&M (3-6, 2-3) scored a fourth quarter touchdown to spoil the day for Norfolk State (2-7, 2-3), 16-6 in Dick Price Stadium at Norfolk, Va.

How Things Stack Up Now
Bethune-Cookman (5-0), South Carolina State (4-1) and Delaware State (4-2) make up the top three in the MEAC standings…. Hampton (3-2) and Morgan State (3-2) are tied for fourth place, just ahead of a four-team, sixth place logjam featuring North Carolina A&T, North Carolina Central, Florida A&M and Norfolk State at 2-3….. Howard (2-6) and Savannah State (0-6) round out the group after the first week of November.

Next Week’s slate features 10 of the 11 schools in action in five conference bouts: Norfolk State at Bethune-Cookman (4:00); Florida A&M at South Carolina State (1:30); North Carolina Central at Hampton (1:00); North Carolina A&T at Morgan State (1:00), and Savannah State at Howard (1:00).

2013 MEAC FOOTBALL STANDINGS
Through November 2
Team …………………… Conference …….. Overall

Bethune-Cookman ……. 5-0 1.000 ….. 8-1 .888
South Carolina State …. 4-1 .800 ….. 6-3 .667
Delaware State ………… 4-2 .667 ….. 4-5 .444
Hampton ………………… 3-2 .600 ….. 3-6 .333
Morgan State …………… 3-2 .600 ….. 3-6 .333
North Carolina A&T …… 2-3 .400 ….. 5-3 .625
North Carolina Central .. 2-3 .400 ….. 4-5 .444
Florida A&M ……………. 2-3 .400 ….. 3-6 .333
Norfolk State ………….. 2-3 .400 ….. 2-7 .222
Howard …………………. 2-4 .333 ….. 3-7 .300
Savannah State ……….. 0-6 .000 ….. 1-9 .100

MEAC WEEK 10 SCORECARD (November 2)
Bethune-Cookman 38, North Carolina Central 14
North Carolina A&T 59, Virginia-Lynchburg 12
Morgan State 30, Hampton 27
Florida A&M 16, Norfolk State 6
Delaware State 22, Howard 20
South Carolina State 45, Savannah State 9

NEXT WEEK’S SCHEDULE (November 7-9)

North Carolina Central at Hampton, 1:00
North Carolina A&T at Morgan State, 1:00
Savannah State at Howard, 1:00
Florida A&M at South Carolina State, 1:30
Norfolk State at Bethune-Cookman, 4:00
Delaware State, bye

GAMES OF NOVEMBER 14-16
Delaware State at Florida A&M
Norfolk State at North Carolina Central
Morgan State at South Carolina State
Savannah State at North Carolina A&T
Hampton at Bethune-Cookman
Howard at Texas Southern

GAMES OF NOVEMBER 21-23
Bethune-Cookman vs. Florida A&M (Orlando)
North Carolina Central at North Carolina A&T
South Carolina State at Norfolk State
Morgan State at Delaware State
Howard at Hampton
Savannah State, bye

Top 5 B-CU/SCSU games in history

Suber man

Allen Suber – Onnidan.com

Following 13th ranked (SportsNetwork) Bethune-Cookman’s pivotal 14-3 win over South Carolina State Saturday at Municipal Stadium, I started thinking about the intense battles this matchup has produced in recent history.

Although the Bulldogs lead the series 28-19-1, the Wildcats have won three of the last four meetings and have had some of their most memorable wins in school history versus their conference foes from Orangeburg, SC.

Listed below are the top five games between the Wildcats and Bulldogs.

Bethune-Cookman solidifies position atop the MEAC with 14-3 win over SCSU

Credits: BCU Athletics

Credits: BCU Athletics

The final transition in the MEAC’s changing of the guard was solidified on Saturday afternoon with #14 Bethune-Cookman’s 14-3 Homecoming victory over South Carolina State in Daytona Beach.

The Wildcat defense limited the Bulldogs to just 143 yards of total offense and forced 3 SCSU turnovers including 2 in the red zone during Saturday’s contest.  Marquis Drayton undercut a Richard Cue pass intended for Temarrick Hemingway to provide BCU with their first impactful defensive play of the afternoon.

On the subsequent drive, quarterback Quentin Williams guided the “good guys” on a 9 play, 81 yard touchdown drive.  Williams went 5-5 on the drive with the biggest play, a 47 yard strike to Eddie Poole, requiring a little divine intervention.

“When I tell you God is good, God is good.  I lost the ball in the sun for like 3 seconds but somehow it landed softly in my hands” Eddie Poole stated when commenting on the reception that gave BCU 1st and goal from the 1.

The drive culminated with a 4 yard pass from Williams to Isidore Jackson giving the Wildcats a 7-0 lead 10 minutes into the contest.

Two possessions later, BCU pushed its lead to 14-0 this time scoring on a 6 yard quarterback keeper by Williams.

Williams, who played the entire game at quarterback, finished the contest 12-16 for 220 yards and 1 touchdown.  Eddie Poole caught 5 passes for 130 yards and moved up to 5th place all-time on the BCU receptions list.

Jarkevis Fields paced the Wildcats with 14 tackles; none bigger than his 4th quarter stop at the 1 yard line forcing a Justin Taylor fumble and BCU recovery in the endzone.  “I saw (Taylor) coming downhill.  I went down low and my helmet hit the ball.  The next thing I knew the crowd was screaming so I knew it was a turnover.  I looked up and thankfully Donald Smith reacted the way our coaches taught us and fell on the ball in the endzone.”

After the game, a consolatory Buddy Pough stated:  “I’m going to be honest; I thought Cookman just outplayed us today.”  “I have to take my hat off to Coach Jenkins and his staff.  They found a couple little things that gave them a chance to get ahead early.  The guy (Coach Jenkins) is a good football coach.  They put together a great program.  They have a great following.  They have probably the most fertile group of (recruiting) talent there is in this part of the country. You put all those things together along with his connections and the great job he’s doing coaching and you win football games.”

BCU’s win over SCSU stretches their MEAC win streak to 17 games.

GAME STATS: http://www.bcuathletics.com/fls/23910/pdf/Football/BCUFB13_Gamebook_08SCSU.pdf?DB_OEM_ID=23910

Bethune-Cookman vs. South Carolina State–The best non-traditional rivalry in HBCU football???

On the huntWhat a great time to be in the World’s Most Famous Beach.  The days are sunny, the nights are pleasant, and there is a tangible sensation of excitement permeating the air.  It is homecoming week at Bethune-Cookman University and the Wildcats are preparing to take on perennial MEAC power South Carolina State. 

This matchup is special any time it’s played.  Adding the pageantry, expectations, and atmosphere of a  homecoming event to it as well as the stakes of first place in the league standings makes it epic.

Non-Traditional Rivalry

The BCU vs. SCSU annual showdown has become one of the best on-the-field rivalries (albeit a non-traditional one) in all of HBCU football.  There is no disdain for or hatred of the opposing team’s fan base.  There are no geographical wars over disputed lands of which to speak.  To the best of our knowledge, no grandkids have been written out of the Will for choosing the wrong side and no giant oak trees have been poisoned (sorry Auburn fans).   Instead, this rivalry evolved from intense, hard-hitting action on the field and the primal desire of 2 clans of alpha males slugging it out to prove that they are the MEAC’s top dog (or top cat if you prefer).

SCSU standout defensive lineman Javon Hargrave stated he thinks about Bethune-Cookman a lot.   “The coaches keep saying how they’ve got us set up for homecoming,” Hargrave said. “We just don’t get along with Bethune-Cookman very well. South Carolina State and Bethune-Cookman is a rivalry.”

Even Brian Jenkins ventured from his normal tight-lipped postgame rhetoric and repeatedly exclaimed his excitement about this weekend’s matchup after his team’s 48-21 dismantling of Savannah State.  Jenkins used the word “excited nine times in a 24 second span and stated  the game would be a “star-studded event.”

DSC_0119These Games Matter

Tradional HBCU rivalries like Jackson State vs. Tennessee State; Alabama State vs. Alabama A&M; and FAMU vs. Southern all draw much larger crowds, but when BCU and SCSU tangle the outcomes have an impact on the college football landscape.

The winner of this game has gone on to win 4 of the last 5 MEAC championships.  They share 5 playoff appearances between themselves since 2008 and they have won 2 Black College National Championships in that same timeframe. BCU and SCSU were predicted to finish 1st and 2nd respectively by the league’s coaches and sports information directors at this year’s MEAC Media Luncheon.  They rank first and second in the league in Scoring Offense, Total Offense, Scoring Defense, and Total Defense.

SCSU head coach Buddy Pough has won four MEAC crowns in 11 seasons and guided the Bulldogs to an all-time MEAC best 21 consecutive game conference win streak from 2007-2010.  In a twist of irony, BCU can match that mark this season if they win out and it was the Jenkins-led Wildcats who ended the Bulldogs win streak in Oliver Dawson Stadium in October of 2010.

The Wildcats have won 2 MEAC titles in Brian Jenkins’ first 3 seasons.  Jenkins owns a 2-1 head-to-head advantage over Pough and BCU has won 9 of the past 15 matchups with SCSU.  The Wildcats are the only MEAC school to boast a winning record in Orangeburg during Pough’s tenure (3-1).  However, this game isn’t being played in South Cackalacky and the homefield has proven to be somewhat of a disadvantage in this matchup as of late.   The road team has inexplicably won 6 of the last 8 meetings in this contest.  In SCSU’s last visit to Municipal Stadium two years ago, they left with a 26-18 victory. 

The 2011 loss suffered at the hands of the Bulldogs is the only MEAC home defeat on Jenkins’ record and it is all that separates coach Jenkins from earning 3 MEAC crowns in 3 years.  Saturday’s winner will earn sole possession of 1st place in the conference and gain a stronghold on the league’s automatic qualifier bid for postseason play.

It’s Buddy vs. Brian; the 101 vs. the Pride; the old guard vs. the new; Big Dogs vs. Big Cats; South Carolina State vs. Bethune-Cookman.  It’s HBCU football at its best.

So tell us what you think.  Has the BCU vs. SCSU matchup become the best non-traditional rivalry in HBCU football?

MEAC Roundup 10.20.13- BCU, SCSU tied for first

BCUSSU

Credits: BCUAthletics

MEAC: Bethune-Cookman, South Carolina State tied for first

By ALVIN HOLLINS JR.
Alvinhollins833@yahoo.com

MEAC ROUNDUP: Defending champion Bethune-Cookman remained atop the MEAC standings as the Wildcats (6-1, 3-0) crushed visiting Savannah State, 48-21.

BCU’s win sets up next Saturday’s “Showdown on Da Beach” with fellow MEAC unbeaten, South Carolina State.  The winner will gain sole possession of first place in the league heading into the final four week stretch of the 2013 campaign.In other MEAC action, the recent trend of parity continued to rear its ugly head as 4 road teams picked up victories.  Delaware State (3-4, 3-1) was two minutes away from a shutout, pulling off a nonetheless stunning 12-7 win over a suddenly slumping North Carolina A&T (3-3, 1-3) in Greensboro.

Also surging up from the depths of near oblivion Saturday were two formerly 0-5 teams, Hampton and Morgan State (both 2-5, 2-1).  Hampton defeated cross bay rival Norfolk State (2-5, 2-2), 27-17 at Norfolk, Va., while Morgan State outslugged host North Carolina Central (3-4, 1-2), 34-22 in Durham, N.C.In the day’s other game, visiting Howard University (2-6, 1-3) scored 21 first half points and made it stand up to spoil Florida A&M’s homecoming (2-5, 1-2), 21-10 in Tallahassee.

Next Week’s slate features all 11 schools in action in five conference bouts and one non-conference affair, including Hampton at Delaware State, 1:00; Norfolk State at ODU, 1:00; Morgan State at Howard, 1:00; North Carolina A&T at Florida A&M, 2:00; North Carolina Central at Savannah State 2:00, and the big one, South Carolina State at Bethune-Cookman, 4:00.2013 MEAC FOOTBALL STANDINGS

Through October 19

Team …………………… Conference …….. Overall

Bethune-Cookman ……. 3-0 1.000 ….. 6-1 .857

South Carolina State …. 3-0 1.000 ….. 5-2 .714

Delaware State ………… 3-1 .750 ….. 3-4 .428

Hampton ………………… 2-1 .667 ….. 2-5 .285

Morgan State …………… 2-1 .667 ….. 2-5 .285

Norfolk State ………….. 2-2 .500 ….. 2-5 .285

North Carolina Central .. 1-2 .333 ….. 3-4 .428

Florida A&M ……………. 1-2 .333 ….. 2-5 .285

North Carolina A&T …… 1-3 .250 ….. 3-3 .500

Howard …………………. 1-3 .250 ….. 2-6 .250

Savannah State ……….. 0-4 .000 ….. 1-7 .125

MEAC WEEK EIGHT SCORECARD (October 19)
Bethune-Cookman 48, Savannah State 21
Delaware State 12, North Carolina A&T 7
Howard 21, Florida A&M 10
Hampton 27, Norfolk State 17
Morgan State 34, North Carolina Central 22

NEXT WEEK’S SCHEDULE (October 26)
Hampton at Delaware State, 1:00
Norfolk State at ODU, 1:00
Morgan State at Howard, 1:00
North Carolina A&T at Florida A&M, 2:00
North Carolina Central at Savannah State 2:00
South Carolina State at Bethune-Cookman, 4:00

Wildcats take care of Savannah State 48-21

Credits: BCU Athletics

Credits: BCU Athletics

Bethune-Cookman scored 42 first half points and cruised to a 48-21 victory against Savannah State on Saturday evening in Municipal Stadium.  Cary White and Isidore Jackson accounted for all six of BCU’s first-half touchdowns.

Jackson opened the game’s scoring on a 16-yard TD reception from Quentin Williams and rushed for two more scores later in the half.  White added rushing touchdowns of 1, 24 and 12 yards.

Simon Heyward scored on a 76-yard TD pass from Leon Prunty to give the Tigers their first points of the evening.

After a scoreless 3rd quarter, SSU scored twice in the 4th on a pair of Antonio Bostick touchdown throws. BCU registered its only points of the second half on the strength of a 27 yard TD run by Michael Jones.

The Wildcats now shift their attention towards next week’s homecoming showdown against South Carolina State.

Team Stat Comparison

SAV

COOK

1st Downs 19 25
Total Yards 404 465
Passing 310 192
Rushing 94 273
Penalties 7-66 8-55
3rd Down Conversions 5-16 4-10
4th Down Conversions 2-7 1-2
Turnovers 5 4
Possession 30:38 29:22

Passing Leaders

Savannah State C/ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Bostick 17/36 202 5.6 2 2
Bethune-Cookman C/ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Williams 10/14 143 10.2 1 0

Rushing Leaders

Savannah State CAR YDS AVG TD LG
Veals 9 59 6.6 0 18
Daniels 6 21 3.5 0 9
Bethune-Cookman CAR YDS AVG TD LG
White 7 69 9.9 3 24
Jackson 12 54 4.5 2 12

Receiving Leaders

Savannah State REC YDS AVG TD LG
Heyward 3 113 37.7 1 76
Moore 1 59 59.0 0 59
Bethune-Cookman REC YDS AVG TD LG
Gordon 2 47 23.5 0 34
Jackson 3 34 11.3 1 16

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTER SAV COOK
TD 12:53 Isidore Jackson 16 Yd Pass From Quentin Williams (Jonathan Cagle Kick) 0 7
TD 07:25 Cary White 1 Yd Run (Jonathan Cagle Kick) 0 14
TD 01:15 Cary White 24 Yd Run (Jonathan Cagle Kick) 0 21
SECOND QUARTER SAV COOK
TD 11:07 Cary White 12 Yd Run (Jonathan Cagle Kick) 0 28
TD 10:13 Simon Heyward 76 Yd Pass From Leon Prunty (Preston Mccarthy Kick) 7 28
TD 06:23 Isidore Jackson 2 Yd Run (Jonathan Cagle Kick) 7 35
TD 00:54 Isidore Jackson 2 Yd Run (Jonathan Cagle Kick) 7 42
FOURTH QUARTER SAV COOK
TD 13:23 Edward Lackey 3 Yd Pass From Antonio Bostick (Preston Mccarthy Kick) 14 42
TD 11:40 Michael D. Jones 27 Yd Run (Pat Blocked) 14 48
TD 07:03 Jake Durham 15 Yd Pass From Antonio Bostick (Preston Mccarthy Kick) 21 48