Black college football national championship

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The black college football national championship is a mythical national championship won by the best black college football team(s) in the United States of America. There has been some criticism of this title on the grounds that the schools in the various polls compete in different levels of competition (e.g. Division II vs. the FCS level of Division I).[1]

Attempts have been made over the years to determine a non-mythical national champion with an actual football game contested by leading teams amongst historically black colleges and universities in the United States. The Orange Blossom Classic was often billed as such a game, but Florida A&M, as its annual host, was guaranteed a spot in this game and was not always of national championship-caliber each year that it was played between 1933 and 1978. The Pelican Bowl, a bowl game that pitted the conference champions from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), was one such example, but this venture failed to draw enough attendance and lasted only a few years in the 1970s. Similarly, the Heritage Bowl was played in the 1990s featuring teams from the MEAC and SWAC, but this bowl game has not been held since 1999 and was often snubbed by the conference champions in lieu of the NCAA's then-Division I-AA playoffs. The two conferences had also been in negotiations concerning the creation of the "Legacy Bowl," with hopes for it to begin with the 2011 postseason, but it has yet to materialize.

It is worth noting that while black national champions have been crowned regularly in football for nearly a century now, the concept has never fully caught on with other sports. Men's basketball briefly had a similar movement at one point. In 1941, Southern, coached by the famed football coach Ace Mumford, defeated North Carolina Central, 48-42, in the National Invitational Intercollegiate Basketball Tournament. This tournament was held because the National Invitational Tournament would not invite majority black schools at the time. With the South's black population isolated from segregated Atlantic Coast and Southeastern Conference schools, the NIIBT showcased a very high level of playing talent. In more recent years, BlackCollegeBaseball.com named several black national champions for baseball, including North Carolina A&T and Southern jointly in 2005 and Prairie View in 2006. Bethune-Cookman also defeated Alcorn State in a special postseason series in 2011.

Selectors[edit]

Selector Years
Pittsburgh Courier (PC) 1920–1980
American Sports Wire (ASW) 1990–2007, 2012
Edd Hayes Black College Sports Reports (EHBCS) 1984–1995
Sheridan Broadcasting Network (SBN) 1981–Present
BoxToRow Media Poll and Coaches Poll (BTR) (M)2007–Present (C)2009–Present

Champions[edit]

Year Champion(s) Record Coach Selector(s)
1920 Howard 7–0 Edward Morrison PC
Talladega 5–0–1 Jubie Bragg PC
1921 Talladega 6–0–1 Jubie Bragg PC
Wiley 7–0–1 Jason Grant PC
1922 Hampton 6–1 Gideon Smith PC
1923 Virginia Union 6–0–1 Harold Martin PC
1924 Tuskegee 9–0–1 Cleveland L. Abbott PC
Paul Quinn 8–0–1 Harry Long PC
1925 Howard 6–0–2 Louis Watson PC
Tuskegee 8–0–1 Cleveland L. Abbott PC
1926 Howard 7–0 Louis Watson PC
Tuskegee 10–0 Cleveland L. Abbott PC
1927 Bluefield State 8–0–1 Harry Jefferson PC
Tuskegee 9–0–1 Cleveland L. Abbott PC
1928 Bluefield State 8–0–1 Harry Jefferson PC
Wiley 8–0–1 Fred T. Long PC
1929 Tuskegee 10–0 Cleveland L. Abbott PC
1930 Tuskegee 11–0–1 Cleveland L. Abbott PC
1931 Wilberforce 9–0 Harry Graves PC
1932 Wiley 9–0 Fred T. Long PC
1933 Morgan State 9–0 Edward P. Hurt PC
1934 Kentucky State 9–0 Henry Kean PC
1935 Texas College 9–0 Ace Mumford PC
1936 Virginia State 7–0–2 Harry Jefferson PC
West Virginia State 8–0 Adolph Hamblin PC
1937 Morgan State 7–0 Edward P. Hurt PC
1938 Florida A&M 8–0 Bill Bell PC
1939 Langston 9–0 Caesar Felton Gayles PC
1940 Morris Brown 9–1 Artis Graves PC
1941 Morris Brown 8–1 Billy Nicks PC
1942 Florida A&M 9–0 Bill Bell PC
1943 Morgan State 5–0 Edward P. Hurt PC
1944 Morgan State 6–1 Edward P. Hurt PC
1945 Wiley 10–0 Fred T. Long PC
1946 Morgan State 8–0 Edward P. Hurt PC
Tennessee State 10–1 Henry Kean PC
1947 Shaw 10–0 Brutus Wilson PC
Tennessee State 10–0 Henry Kean PC
1948 Southern 12–0 Ace Mumford PC
1949 Morgan State 8–0 Edward P. Hurt PC
Southern 10–0–1 Ace Mumford PC
1950 Florida A&M 8–1–1 Jake Gaither PC
Southern 10–0–1 Ace Mumford PC
1951 Morris Brown 10–1 Edward "Ox" Clemons PC
1952 Florida A&M 8–2 Jake Gaither PC
Lincoln 8–0–1 Dwight Reed PC
Texas Southern 10–0–1 Alexander Durley PC
Virginia State 8–1 Sylvester "Sal" Hall PC
1953 Prairie View 12–0 Billy Nicks PC
1954 Florida A&M 8–1 Jake Gaither PC
Prairie View 10–1 Billy Nicks PC
Southern 10–1 Ace Mumford PC
Tennessee State 10–1 Henry Kean PC
1955 Grambling State 10–0 Eddie Robinson PC
1956 Tennessee State 10–0 Howard C. Gentry PC
1957 Florida A&M 9–0 Jake Gaither PC
1958 Prairie View 10–0–1 Billy Nicks PC
1959 Florida A&M 10–0 Jake Gaither PC
1960 Southern 9–1 Ace Mumford PC
1961 Florida A&M 10–0 Jake Gaither PC
1962 Jackson State 10–1 John Merritt PC
1963 Prairie View 10–1 Billy Nicks PC
1964 Prairie View 9–0 Billy Nicks PC
1965 Tennessee State 9–0–1 John Merritt PC
1966 Tennessee State 10–0 John Merritt PC
1967 Grambling State 9–1 Eddie Robinson PC
Morgan State 8–0 Earl Banks PC
1968 Alcorn State 9–1 Marino Casem PC
North Carolina A&T 8–1 Hornsby Howell PC
1969 Alcorn State 8–0–1 Marino Casem PC
1970 Tennessee State 11–0 John Merritt PC
1971 Tennessee State 9–1 John Merritt PC
1972 Grambling State 11–2 Eddie Robinson PC
1973 Tennessee State 10–0 John Merritt PC
1974 Alcorn State 9–2 Marino Casem PC
Grambling State 11–1 Eddie Robinson PC
1975 Grambling State 10–2 Eddie Robinson PC
1976 South Carolina State 10–1 Willie Jeffries PC
1977 Florida A&M 11–0 Rudy Hubbard PC
Grambling State 10–1 Eddie Robinson PC
South Carolina State 9–1–1 Willie Jeffries PC
1978 Florida A&M 12–1 Rudy Hubbard PC
1979 Tennessee State 8–3 John Merritt PC
1980 Grambling State 10–2 Eddie Robinson PC
1981 South Carolina State 10–3 Bill Davis SBN
1982 Tennessee State 9–0–1 John Merritt SBN
1983 Grambling State 8–1–2 Eddie Robinson SBN
1984 Alcorn State 9–1 Marino Casem SBN
1985 Jackson State 8–3 W. C. Gorden SBN
1986 Central State 10–1–1 Billy Joe SBN
1987 Central State 10–1–1 Billy Joe SBN
1988 Central State 11–2 Billy Joe SBN
1989 Central State 10–2 Billy Joe SBN
1990 Central State 11–1 Billy Joe SBN
North Carolina A&T 9–2 Bill Hayes ASW
1991 Alabama State 11–0–1 Houston Markham ASW, SBN
1992 Grambling State 10–2 Eddie Robinson ASW, SBN
1993 Howard 11–1 Steve Wilson SBN
Southern 11–1 Pete Richardson ASW
1994 Hampton 10–1 Joe Taylor ASW, SBN
1995 Southern 11–1 Pete Richardson ASW, SBN
1996 Howard 10–2 Steve Wilson ASW, SBN
1997 Southern 11–1 Pete Richardson ASW, SBN
1998 Florida A&M 11–2 Billy Joe ASW, SBN
1999 North Carolina A&T 11–2 Bill Hayes ASW, SBN
2000 Grambling State 10–2 Doug Williams ASW
Tuskegee 12–0 Rick Comegy SBN
2001 Grambling State 10–1 Doug Williams ASW, SBN
2002 Grambling State 11–2 Doug Williams ASW, SBN
2003 Southern 12–1 Pete Richardson ASW, SBN
2004 Hampton 10–2 Joe Taylor ASW, SBN
2005 Grambling State 11–1 Melvin Spears SBN
Hampton 11–1 Joe Taylor ASW
2006 Hampton 10–2 Joe Taylor ASW
North Carolina Central 11–1 Rod Broadway SBN
2007 Tuskegee 12–0 Willie Slater SBN
Delaware State 10–2 Al Lavan ASW
2008 Grambling State 11–2 Rod Broadway SBN
2009 South Carolina State 10–2 Oliver Pough SBN
2010 Albany State 11–1 Mike White SBN
2011 Winston-Salem State 13–1 Connell Maynor SBN
2012 Winston-Salem State 14–1 Connell Maynor SBN
Arkansas-Pine Bluff 10–2 Monte Coleman ASW [2]
2013 Tennessee State 10–4 Rod Reed SBN

National championships by school[edit]

School Championships Years
Grambling State 14 1955, 1967, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1992, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2008
Tennessee State 12 1946, 1947, 1954, 1956, 1965, 1966, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1979, 1982, 2013
Florida A&M 11 1938, 1942, 1950, 1952, 1954, 1957, 1959, 1961, 1977, 1978, 1998
Southern 9 1948, 1949, 1950, 1954, 1960, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2003
Tuskegee 8 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1929, 1930, 2000, 2007
Morgan State 7 1933, 1937, 1943, 1944, 1946, 1949, 1967
Central State 5 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990
Hampton 5 1922, 1994, 2004, 2005, 2006
Howard 5 1920, 1925, 1926, 1993, 1996
Prairie View 5 1953, 1954, 1958, 1963, 1964
Alcorn State 4 1968, 1969, 1974, 1984
South Carolina State 4 1976, 1977, 1981, 2009
Wiley 4 1921, 1928, 1932, 1945
Jackson State 3 1962, 1985, 1996
Morris Brown 3 1940, 1941, 1951
North Carolina A&T 3 1968, 1990, 1999
Winston-Salem State 2 2011, 2012
Albany State 1 2010
Arkansas-Pine Bluff 1 2012
Delaware State 1 2007
North Carolina Central 1 2006
Paul Quinn 1 1924

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The SBN Black College Football Poll is Worthless". HBCU Sports Blog. September 16, 2008. Archived from the original on December 1, 2008. 
  2. ^ http://www.swac.org/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=205965860