The old adage “every vote counts” definitely held true when it came down to recently selecting the 2013 National Football Champions among the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
In the closest vote in the history of the Boxtorow Coaches’ Poll, Bethune-Cookman edged out Tennessee State by a mere point to claim this year’s HBCU national title.
The Boxtorow HBCU FCS coaches’ poll is administered by From the Press Box to Press Row, and is voted on by HBCU Football Championship subdivision coaches.
It was the first time that the team receiving the majority of the first place votes did not finish atop the poll. Both Bethune-Cookman and Tennessee State each received eight first- and second-place votes. But TSU received three third place votes, to B-CU’s two. However, taken into consideration was the fact that Bethune-Cookman nipped Tennessee State, 12-9, in Nashville on August 31, the season-opener for both teams.
South Carolina State received the five second-place votes, to finish third.
Notably, Arkansas-Pine Bluff finished the season with a disappointing 2-9 record, marking the second year in a row the defending champion from the previous year did not finish in the top 10. Also, Southern Univ. finished fourth, its highest standing ever, after defeating Jackson State , 27-24, on Dec. 7 in the double-overtime SWAC Championship thriller. Alcorn State received the other first-place vote, finishing fifth.
In all, the 2013 season was one of the more successful HBCU football seasons in recent history. B-CU, Tennessee St., South Carolina St., Southern, and Jackson St. all participated in post-season play with three of the teams participating in the NCAA FCS playoffs. Two teams, B-CU, TSU, captured 10 victories this year, while Tennessee won a first-round playoff game, shutting out higher seeded Butler, 31-0, on Nov. 30.
2013 HBCU Football Final Standings
Rank School W-L
1. Bethune-Cookman (8) 10-3
Tennessee State (8) 10-4
3. South Carolina State 9-4
4. Southern 9-4
5. Alcorn State (1) 9-3
6. Jackson State 8-4
7. Alabama State 8-4
8. North Carolina A&T 7-4
9. Prairie View A&M 6-6
10. Howard 6-6