College Colors Day – Friday, August 30th

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Greetings Wildcats and HBCU fans!  We are less than a week away from the kickoff of the 2013 college football season and the atmosphere is ripe with anticipation.

On this upcoming Friday, August 30th, thousands of fans from across the country will adorn themselves in the colors and paraphernalia of their favorite universities during the annual Wear Your College Colors Wherever You Are – COLLEGE COLORS DAY We encourage all Wildcat and HBCU fans to join in this celebration by proudly sporting your school colors and gear throughout the day on Friday, August 30th.

College Colors Day is an annual celebration dedicated to promoting the traditions and spirit that embody the college experience by encouraging fans across America to wear their favorite college or university apparel throughout the day on Friday, August 30th.

 

Wildcats predicted to repeat; J. Fields and I. Jackson earn Player of the Year Honors

BCU LB - Jarkevis Fields

BCU LB – Jarkevis Fields

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) announced on Friday at its annual Press Luncheon that defending conference champion, Bethune-Cookman, earned 16 of the 21 first place votes casted and were predicted to repeat as conference champions.  The Wildcats have won 14 consecutive games in conference including 8 straight in 2012.

In addition to the team accolades, linebacker Jarkevis Fields and running back Isidore Jackson were selected as Defensive Player of the Year and Co-Offensive Player of the Year respectively.

Fields, a 6-0, 230-pound senior from Sanford, Fla., led the Wildcats in tackles in both 2011 and 2012.  Last season he registered 103 tackles, six tackles for losses and a sack; and he helped pace a defense that finished 7th nationally in Total Defense (301.42 ypg); 10th nationally in Scoring Defense (18.25 ppg), and 1st nationally in Turnovers Gained (36).

Jackson, 5-10, 205-pound from running back Mossy Head, Fla., eclipsed the 1,000 rushing mark in 2012 and spearheaded the MEAC’s top rushing attack (244 ypg); top Total Offense (387.9 ypg); and top Scoring Offense (29.4 ppg).  Jackson and FAMU quarterback Damien Flemming were named Co-Offensive Player of Year.

Joining Isidore Jackson and Jarkevis Fields on the MEAC’s first team All-Conference were offensive lineman Alex Monroe, defensive back Nick Addison, and defensive end LeBrandon Richardson.  Wide receiver Eddie Poole landed on the second team for offense, and defensive lineman Tevin Toney received honorable mention awards.

2013 Predicted Order of Finish

(First Place Votes in Parenthesis)

School                                                                  Points

1.      Bethune-Cookman (16)                                     480
2.      South Carolina State (2)                                   365
3.      North Carolina A&T                                           302
4.      North Carolina Central                                      260
5.      Florida A&M                                                     250
6.      Howard                                                           227
7.      Norfolk State (1)                                             222
8.      Delaware State                                                201
9.      Hampton (1)                                                   196
10.   Morgan State                                                   113
11.   Savannah State (1)                                           52

2013 Football All-Conference Preseason Teams

Co-Offensive Player of the Year: Damien Flemming, Florida A&M and Isidore Jackson, Bethune-Cookman

                 Defensive Player of the Year: Jarkevis Fields, Bethune-Cookman

Pos. Name Cl. School Hometown
QB Damien Fleming Jr. Florida A&M Jacksonville, Fla.
RB Isidore Jackson Sr. Bethune-Cookman Mossy Head, Fla.
RB* Malcolm Williams Jr. Delaware State Reading, Pa.
RB* James Owens r-Sr. Florida A&M Apopka, Fla.
WR Lenworth Lennon r-Jr. Florida A&M Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
WR Simon Hewyard Sr. Savannah State Savannah, Ga.
TE Joseph Hawkins r-Sr. Norfolk State Chicago, Ill.
C Brandon Cunningham Sr. Delaware State Lumberton, N.J.
OL Alex Monroe Sr. Bethune-Cookman Jacksonville, Fla.
OL Kevin House r-Jr. Florida A&M Jacksonville, Fla.
OL Zerrie Patterson So. Florida A&M Fort Pierce, Fla.
OL Joshua Matthews Sr. Howard Bowman, S.C.
DEFENSE        
Pos. Name Cl. School Hometown
DL LeBrandon Richardson Jr. Bethune-Cookman Miami, Fla.
DL Damon Gresham Chisholm So. Howard Covington, Ga.
DL Rodney Gunter Jr. Delaware State Haines, Fla.
DL Javon Hargrave So. South Carolina State Salisbury, N.C.
LB Jarkevis Fields Sr. Bethune-Cookman Sanford, Fla.
LB Ernest Adjei Sr. Delaware State Woodbridge, Va.
LB Lynden Trail r-Jr. Norfolk State Miami, Fla.
DB Nick Addison Jr. Bethune-Cookman Tampa, Fla.
DB Julien David Sr. Howard Coral Springs, Fla.
DB D’Vonte Graham Sr. North Carolina A&T Tallahassee, Fla.
DB Terrick Colston So. Delaware State Lakeland, Fla.
P Nick Belcher r-Sr. South Carolina State Sumter, S.C.
PK Chase Varnadore r-So. Florida A&M Tallahassee, Fla.
RS D’Vonte Graham Sr. North Carolina A&T Charlotte, N.C.
Second Team        
OFFENSE        
Pos. Name Cl. School Hometown
QB Jordan Reid r-Sr. North Carolina Central High Point, N.C.
RB Aquanius Freeman Jr. Howard New Orleans, La.
RB Brendon Riddick r-So. Norfolk State Richmond, Va.
WR Eddie Poole Grad. Bethune-Cookman Belle Glade, Fla.
WR Derrick Demps r-Sr. Norfolk State Tallahassee, Fla.
TE David Wilson Sr. Howard Sacramento, Calif.
C Ronald Canty r-Jr. North Carolina A&T Chester, S.C.
OL John Smith r-So. Howard Atlanta, Ga.
OL Jamal Wilson r-Sr. Hampton Brooklyn, N.Y.
OL Williams Robinson r-Jr. North Carolina A&T Clinton, Md.
OL Charles Goodwin r-Sr. North Carolina Central High Point, N.C.
DEFENSE        
Pos. Name Cl. School Hometown
DL Tyree Hearn Sr. North Carolina A&T Durham, N.C.
DL George Riddick Jr. Norfolk State Suffolk, Va.
DL Matthew Davis Sr. Hampton Chesapeake, Va.
DL Demarco Bisbee r-So. Morgan State Lansing, Mich.
LB D’Vonte Grant Sr. North Carolina A&T Charlotte, N.C.
LB Justin Hughes Jr. South Carolina State Virginia Beach, Va.
LB Travis Crosby Sr. North Carolina A&T Charlotte, N.C.
DB Davon Moore Jr. Delaware State Mt. Vernon, N.Y.
DB Joe Rankin Sr. Morgan State Germantown, Md.
DB Ryan Smith r-So. North Carolina Central Upper Marlboro, Md.
DB* John Wilson Sr. Savannah State Athens, Ga.
DB* Jonathan Pillow r-Sr. Florida A&M Jacksonville, Fla.
P Matthew Cornellus r-Sr. North Carolina Central Charlotte, N.C.
PK Oleg Parent Jr. North Carolina Central Lake Forest, Calif.
RS James Owens r-Sr. Florida A&M Apopka, Fla.
Third Team        
OFFENSE        
Pos. Name Cl. School Hometown
QB Nico Flores r-Sr. Norfolk State Miami, Fla.
RB Dae-Hon Cheung So. Delaware State Coatesville, Pa.
RB Conley Smith So. Norfolk State Chesapeake, Va.
WR Tyler McDonald Sr. South Carolina State Summerville, SC
WR Dylan Cook Sr. Savannah State Hiram, Ga.
TE Kris Drummond Jr. Savannah State Washington, D.C.
C Doug Almendares Sr. Florida A&M Miami, Fla.
OL Domanic Wilson r-Jr. South Carolina State Lake City, SC
OL Karim Barton Sr. Morgan State Los Angeles, Calif.
OL E.J. Rogers r-Jr. Norfolk State Alexandria, Va.
OL Cameron Williams r-Sr. Norfolk State Burke, Va.
DEFENSE        
Pos. Name Cl. School Hometown
DL Andrew Carter r-Jr. South Carolina State Hamlet, NC
DL Tevin Toney Sr. Bethune-Cookman Sebring, Fla.
DL Micah Blount Sr. Savannah State Stone Mountain, Ga.
DL* Chikezie Ukeje Sr. Delaware State Stanten Island, N.Y.
DL* Noel Clarke Jr. Jr. Norfolk State Brooklyn, N.Y.
LB Christopher Robinson r-Jr. Morgan State Germantown, Md.
LB Joe Boyd Sr. Delaware State Ft. Washington, Md.
LB Brandon Denmark Sr. Florida A&M Tallahassee, Fla.
DB Keenan Lambert r-Jr. Norfolk State Norfolk, Va.
DB Nathan Ayers Jr. Morgan State Baltimore, Md.
DB Devontae Johnson r-Jr. Florida A&M Tallahassee, Fla.
DB Carvin Johnson Sr. Hampton New Orleans, La.
PK Nick Belcher r-Sr. South Carolina State Sumter, SC
RS Chris Flowers Sr. Morgan State Haines City, Fla.

 

*indicates tie

Best HBCU Home Field Advantage–Rankings and Poll

Home field advantage is as much a part of college football as marching bands and drunken co-eds. LSU’s Tiger Stadium, University of Florida’s “Swamp”, Clemson’s “Death Valley” and Ohio State’s “Horseshoe” provide some of the more well-known home field advantages in all of sports.  But you don’t have to play in an 80,000 seat arena to enjoy the benefits of a home field.

There are a host of smaller venues, including some HBCU home sites, that have proven themselves very tough on opposing teams.  Granted, playing in front of your home crowd does not guarantee victory, but you have to like your chances if you play your home games in these friendly confines.

Here’s a look at the best home field advantages in the world of HBCU football.

Honorable Mention:

*** O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium is a charming, picturesque venue nestled on the grounds of North Carolina Central University.  But don’t get it twisted.  Playing in O’Kelly-Riddick is no walk in the park for the opposition.  In fact, the CIAA contingent that contributed to this poll thought so much of O’Kelly-Riddick that they lobbied vehemently for Central to be included in the Top 5 home field advantage ranking and not just an honorable mention selectee.

O’Kelly-Riddick’s greatest advantage comes from the closeness of the fans.  “They’re right on top of you and in your ear the whole game” one former CIAA player told me.  He went on to describe how one of his young teammates was harassed by a particular NCCU fan from pre-game warmups until the final whistle.  No wonder that “young buck” had his worse collegiate game that day.

*** Grambling State’s home games may not be as well attended as some of the other schools on this list, but the folks that congregate at Eddie Robinson Stadium on Saturday’s sure make their presence known.  Robinson Stadium is one of the largest FCS on-campus stadium in the country.  The Tigers have enjoyed 13 undefeated home seasons and a .758 winning percentage at Robinson Stadium since it opened in 1983.

The stadium is in the middle of nowhere which in itself creates a sense of isolationism for visiting squads.  Couple that with the lore of Grambling State football, the passion of their fans, and the quality of football the G-Men play and it’s pretty simple to see why playing at Robinson Stadium has proven to be such a difficult task for opponents.

*** If there were no extra weight given for recent success, North Carolina A&T’s Aggie Stadium would have made our Top 5.

A&T fans are amongst the most passionate and rabid in all of FCS athletics. The Blue Death Valley, Aggie Pride and of course the GHOE (Greatest Homecoming on Earth {sorry Howard}) all take up residence in Aggie Stadium.  Visiting teams can expect the unpredictable at Aggie Stadium.  Just a season ago, a very good Bethune-Cookman team suffered a horrible defeat at the hands of NCA&T and were held to a putrid 5 yards of rushing offense during the process.  It’s no coincidence that game was played in Aggie Stadium.

The Top 5

SU vs JSU at Mumford Stadium

#5—Southern University’s A. W. Mumford Stadium

Yeah I know SWACOs.  One could argue that Mumford is deserving of the #1 ranking.  But like A&T, Southern’s recent hard times resulted in Mumford falling a little lower in the rankings.

SU routinely ranks in the Top 25 in FCS home attendance and unlike some HBCU fans; Jaguar fans are active and loud from the zero quarter to the fifth quarter.  The Human Jukebox, the Dancing Dolls, 20,000 plus screaming Louisianans all make Mumford a special place to call home.

SCSU’s Oliver C. Dawson

#4—South Carolina State’s Oliver C. Dawson Stadium

South Carolina State’s Dawson Stadium is one of the best places to catch an HBCU football contest.  The fun starts outside of the stadium at the MEAC’s best tailgate party.  Inside the stadium, you will find one of the most knowledgeable and loyal group of fans in the HBCU world.

Bulldog fans know when to inject life into the stadium; and when they do Dawson produces a “roar” that is as good as any in FCS football.  Oh by the way, the Bulldogs are 19-3 at Dawson over the last 5 years.  Pretty good huh?

#3—Florida A&M’s Bragg Memorial Stadium

If you call a Rattler fan arrogant or obnoxious, you’re more likely to receive a thank you than a rebuttal.  They are a deeply loyal and passionate bunch who don’t seem to have an issue reminding us all of the rich history of FAMU athletics.   On game day they’re extremely boisterous and fully engaged. 

 The fans alone provide enough of a boost to give FAMU a great home field advantage.  When you add in the Florida humidity and a 400+ piece band that has its own cult following into the equation, Bragg Stadium becomes all the  more difficult to tame.

Mississippi’s Veterans Memorial Stadium

In 1997, Jackson State set an NCAA FCS attendance record when they averaged 38,873 fans at home games.  JSU fans don’t show up just to be seen either.  They are loud, rowdy, and very much a part of the game.

The Sonic Boom is a high intensity, “aggressive” band that amplifies the already hostile environment of Mississippi’s Veterans Memorial.

Between the lines, Jackson State owns a .780 winning percentage at Veterans Memorial.  Many teams cannot sustain that type of excellence for a 5 year period.  JSU has been doing it since they began playing their home games at Veterans Memorial in October of 1967.

The combination of diehard fans, an “in your face” band, and a football history that is steeped in tradition makes Veterans Memorial worthy of receiving the #2 spot in our ranking.

The Dust Bowl

#1—Tuskegee’s Abbott Stadium

Tuskegee’s Abbott Stadium -affectionately known as “The Dust Bowl”- is one of the most unique places to play football in the country.  Abbott (originally called Alumni Stadium) was constructed in 1924 and was the first of its kind to be erected on an HBCU campus.  To give you some perspective regarding just how much history Abbott Stadium has seen, many of the Tuskegee Airmen were still running around in diapers when the Golden Tigers played their first game at Abbott against Atlanta University.  But age isn’t Abbot’s only unique characteristic.

Abbott is one of the only stadiums in the country in which the tailgate occurs inside the stadium (on the hillside). There is also a seemingly out of place barn roof (referred to as “The Shed”) standing over the home-side stands. But when you consider the stadium has no lights and that all home games kickoff at 1:00 in the afternoon, it makes sense to offer fans some sort of protection from the Alabama sun.  Players on the field are afforded no such luxury.  Not only is the playing surface hot, but the stadium’s design inhibits air from circulating freely, hence the term “The Dust Bowl”.

Tuskegee has been an absolute beast on the field.  The Golden Tigers own 8 Black College Football National Championships, 28 SIAC Championships, as well as the title of “The Winningest Team in HBCU History” with 630 victories.  More recently, Head Coach Willie Slater boasts a 25-3 home record at Abbot Stadium.

Now that you know how we feel, tell us what you think.  Choose your Top 3 HBCU home field advantages.  The poll closes the week of July 4th.

Hail Wildcats

Top 10 HBCU Chants, Taunts, and Rally Calls

After watching the Crimson Tide roll LSU in the BCS title game, I watched 30,000 Alabama fans unleash the Rammer Jammer taunt on the Bayou Tigers.

It’s juvenile, opposing fans hate it, but it’s completely awesome.  That got me to thinking about the best chants, taunts, and rally calls in the HBCU world.  Admittedly, I have not visited every HBCU’s home stadium/gym so I am sure that there are a ton of chants, taunts, and rally calls that are worthy of Top 10 consideration but not included in the list below.  The only prerequisite needed to make the list below is that the chant, taunt, or rally call must have words attached to it.  So without further ado and in no particular order, here are my Top 10 HBCU chants, taunts, and rally calls.

In no particular order:

I’m So Glad –Tennessee State’s “I’m So Glad” is the granddaddy of HBCU chants.  It’s not an original composition but it was TSU that first introduced this arrangement to the band world.    And if imitation truly is the highest form of flattery then TSU should blush constantly as nearly every HBCU band play a version of this tune these days.

Get Up for the Bulldogs – Adopted from P-Funks “Get up for the Down Stroke”, South Carolina State’s “Get Up for the Bulldogs” is everything that you want in a college chant.  The words are easy to grasp, it get’s the Bulldog faithful energized, and it’s extremely catchy.  I have even had to make myself stop chanting this tune more than a few times in matchups between SCSU and my beloved Wildcats.

 Aggie Pride – …two simple words that say so much.  North Carolina A&T alums are an extremely proud bunch and for very good reason.  The institution is rich in academic, cultural, and athletic history.  This rally call serves as both public praise to a fellow Aggie for his/her accomplishments as well as a reminder of NCA&T’s rich history.

 J-S-U Rock the house  – Okay, so Grambling claims to be the first to jam the “G-S-U rock the house chant”, but it was Jackson State who rocked it best!  Sorry Grambling but the Sonic Boom wins.

Chew Tobacco Spit – Winston Salem

Chew Tobacco, Chew Tobacco, Chew Tobacco Spit;
if you aint a Ram; then you ain’t $#!+. 

I hate everything about this taunt but by definition, that’s what makes a taunt great. It’s suppose to get under the skin of the opposition.

Hail Wildcats – This Bethune-Cookman chant is sometimes used to promote crowd participation, sometimes used as a taunt, and sometimes used as a rally call to offer praise to fellow BCU alums.

Hail Wildcats (echo),
Hail Wildcats (echo),
Hail Wildcats (echo),
Hail (insert opposing team’s name); Hell No!

Behold – “Behold the Green and Gold” is heard at the conclusion of the opening fanfare of the Spartan Legion’s halftime shows.  But this rally call makes the list for its usage as an at-a-boy to fellow Norfolk State supporters.

We Beat that A$$ – One of the lesser known taunts in the HBCU world yet one of the best.  In fact, I’m not even sure that Hampton still uses this taunt.  But back when Joe Taylor and his Hampton Pirates were mopping up the HBCU world, the HU band and student section were sure to let you know about it.  Once victory was certain, it would begin:

We Beat that Asssssssss
We Beat that Ass
We Beat that Ass
We Beat that Ass.

It’s crude I admit but to the victor go the spoils.

Strike, Strike, and Strike Again –We’ve all heard the FAMU faithful making that hissing sound while someone recites some poem at the end of which we’re all reminded that a Rattler will Strike, Strike, and Strike again.  It’s pretty frustrating, but pretty cool too.  Here’s the full text to the Rattler Charge:
When the dark clouds gather on the horizon,
When thunder and lightening fill the sky,
When fate is but a glint in the eye of a fallen Rattler,
And hopes are lost friends,
When the sinew of the chest grows weary,
From those hard charging line backers,
And the muscles and the legs grow tired,
From those hard charging running backs.
You must always remember that the

RATTLERS WILL STRIKE, AND STRIKE AND STRIKE AGAIN!

Let’s Go WildcatsNot much needs to be said, just take a listen.