The penultimate HBCU football power rankings entering Week 12

Just one regular season game remains for every FCS HBCU football team, with some teams playing in Week 12 and some finishing the season around the Thanksgiving holiday. That means Week 12’s HBCU football power rankings are the second to last rankings, with the next rankings not set to be released until after the Celebration Bowl. Here’s a look at where things stand.

These rankings have been done weekly throughout the regular season, as I sort each HBCU football team at the FCS level based on their performances. Nicknamed The Road to Atlanta, the weekly power rankings lead to the annual meeting of HBCU football’s two best teams at this year’s Celebration Bowl in Atlanta.

The Road to Atlanta: Week 12 HBCU Football Power Rankings

1. Jackson State | SWAC | 10-0 (8-0) | Previous: 1

Jackson State hasn’t lost a game in SWAC play in two years and clinched the SWAC East crown last week. The Tigers have one more regular season game before the SWAC Championship.

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2. Florida A&M | SWAC | 8-2 (6-1) | Previous: 2

Florida A&M won a thrilling game over Alabama A&M blocking a potential game-winning field goal as time expired. Up next, the Rattlers head to Orlando for the Florida Classic. Florida A&M needs to win that game and hope other games fall its way for its playoff hopes.

3. North Carolina Central | MEAC | 8-2 (4-1) | Prev: T-3

North Carolina Central clinched a Celebration Bowl berth with a win over Norfolk State. The Eagles close the season with a non-conference contest against Tennessee Tech.

4. North Carolina A&T | Big South | 7-3 (3-0) | Prev: T-3

North Carolina A&T only defeated Charleston Southern by 10 points. The Aggies scored 20 points, the lowest total of their seven-game winning streak. That low output, combined with North Carolina Central’s head-to-head win separates North Carolina A&T from last week’s tie.

5. Alabama State | SWAC | 6-4 (4-3) | Prev: 5

Alabama State was a blocked field goal away from knocking off Florida A&M to take control of second place in the SWAC East. That close defeat was not enough to knock the Hornets out of the top five.

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6. Southern | SWAC | 6-4 (4-3) | Previous: 6

Southern beat Mississippi Valley State 27-7, but was eliminated from SWAC West title contention. The Jaguars remain above Prairie View A&M because of the head-to-head win, but that could change by the end of the season.

7. Prairie View A&M | SWAC | 6-4 (5-2) | Prev: 7

Prairie View A&M blasted UAPB 55-24. The Panthers completed nine passes and six of them went for touchdowns. A win next week will give Prairie View A&M the SWAC West title.

8. Texas Southern | SWAC | 5-5 (4-3)| Prev: 8

Texas Southern sent a statement with its 41-7 rout of Grambling State. The Tigers will finish with a winning record in the SWAC and a win next week will give them their first winning season since 2000.

9. Howard | MEAC | 4-6 (3-1) | Previous: 10

The ebbs and flows of Howard continued with the Bison defeating South Carolina State 28-14. The game wasn’t as close as the score indicated with Howard leading 28-7 entering the fourth quarter. The Bison could win a share of the MEAC title with one more win.

10. Morgan State | MEAC | 4-6 (2-2) | Prev: 13

Morgan State secured at least a third-place finish in the MEAC with a 37-7 win over Howard. The Bears continue to exceed expectations in Damon Wilson’s first year.

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11. Alcorn State | SWAC | 5-5 (4-3) | Prev: 16

Alcorn State is back to .500 after beating Bethune-Cookman.

12. Hampton | CAA | 4-6 (1-6) | Prev: 12

Hampton’s struggles in the CAA continued with another loss, but the Pirates close the season with Towson, a winnable game.

13. Delaware State | MEAC | 5-5 (2-3) | Prev: 9

Delaware State lost to Morgan State 37-7. The Hornets won’t be able to repeat last year’s MEAC success, but they can finish the season with a winning record with a win over Campbell.

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14. Alabama A&M | SWAC | 3-7 (3-4) | Prev: 14

No movement here after Alabama A&M lost by two touchdowns to Jackson State.

15. Grambling State | SWAC | 3-7 (2-5) | Prev: 15

Grambling State’s win streak stops at two games. The Tigers close the season in the Bayou Classic.

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16. South Carolina State | MEAC | 3-7 (1-3) | Prev: 11

What a fall from the heights of the Celebration Bowl to the bottom half of the MEAC standings.

17. Tennessee State | OVC | 3-7 (2-3) | Prev: 17

Tennessee State has not scored a touchdown in 12 straight quarters.

18. Bethune-Cookman | SWAC | 2-8 (2-5) | Prev: 18

Bethune-Cookman continues to lose close games, falling last week 17-14.

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19. Mississippi Valley State | SWAC | 1-9 (1-6) | Prev: 19

Last week’s loss means Mississippi Valley State won’t match its win total from last year.

20. Norfolk State | MEAC | 1-9 (1-4) | Prev: 20

Norfolk State’s offensive woes continued with another loss.

21. Arkansas-Pine Bluff | SWAC | 2-8 (0-7) | Prev: 21

Make it eight straight losses for the Golden Lions.

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