Research shows that Howard and Talladega claimed the first-ever HBCU championship in 1920. It is fitting that in the 100th year of a team being crowned national champions, a team that has never won before wins it for the first time.
The Alabama A&M Bulldogs defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 40-33 in the SWAC championship game on Saturday and are crowned HBCU national champions, finishing No. 1 in the final Boxtorow coaches and media polls.
“Being No. 1 in Boxtorow HBCU polls and HBCU national champions means everything to this program,” said Bulldogs third-year head coach Connell Maynor. “This is what we set out to accomplish three years ago. This is the result of a total team effort from the president, trustees, athletics director on down with all buying in. I am so proud of my coaches and players because they have worked so hard and they deserve this.
“Bulldog nation has been waiting a long time for the Bulldogs to be back at the top.”
Maynor becomes one of the few coaches to win the HBCU national championship with two different teams. He led Winston-Salem State to the title in 2011 and 2012. He also won it as a player with North Carolina A&T in 1990.
In the coaches poll, Arkansas-Pine Bluff at 4-1 was second, followed by 5-1 Southern, 2-1 Prairie View and 3-1 South Carolina State.
Alabama State was sixth, Jackson State was seventh, Delaware State was eighth, Tennessee State was ninth and Grambling was No. 10.
The media had the same top six, then Delaware State seventh, followed by Jackson State, West Virginia State and Tennessee State.
South Carolina State, which last won the HBCU title in 2009, suffered its only spring loss to Alabama A&M.
The Boxtorow HBCU FCS polls are administered by From The Press Box To Press Row. The coaches poll, in its 12th year, is voted on by the HBCU Football Championship Subdivision coaches. The media poll, in its 14th year, is voted on by media members around the country who cover HBCU football.