I remember as a kid growing up attending Southern University football games with my grandmother ( MAMA JAG) and when the Jaguars played Jackson State, the match up reminded me of good vs evil, the jedi vs. the dark side and even Dallas Cowboys vs Pittsburgh Steelers. Those games in the late 70’s and throughout the 80’s were great battles, however it was Jackson State would dominate and intimidate as well. Those Tigers would jog onto the field with those red face mask and the Block letter JSU on their helmet and WC Gordon and his Tigers would go to work. Players like Keith Taylor, Sylvester Stamps, Carl Blue, Harold Heath, Kevin Dent, Darion Conner and many more were staples of the Blue Bengal Tigers. During the late 70’s and throughout the 80’s JSU along with Grambling State dominated the Southwestern Athletic Conference. WC Gordon knew how to find talent and talent would find him. The Tigers were getting players who were being recruited by SEC Foes Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Quality talent was rolling in to Tiger headquarters. The Jackson State Tigers were a team to be reckoned with during that era. Athletic Director Wallace Reed and President John Peoples ran a tight ship. The Tigers would pack Veterans Memorial Stadium with huge crowds of nearly 50k or more. When Southern came to town, it would exceed nearly 60k with the battle of the bands being added to the bill. Now as we speed into 2017, the Jackson State Tigers are a shell of themselves.
— Jackson Free Press
Gone are the glory days of Gordon and Reed. Now, the ship is lead by AD Wheeler Brown , a transplant from North Carolina A&T and a mid aged recruiting guru from Mississippi State named Tony Hughes. Brown took over an athletic department that was going no where when former AD Vivian Fuller ran the ship. Fuller did clean up the APR mess but she also fired Rick Comegy, JSU’s last winning football coach. From there, the Tiger program nearly hit rock bottom. Harold Jackson coached the Tigers for 2 years and to avail did nothing. Brown was hired to fix things and one of the thing he did was bring in Hughes, a local favorite who had recruiting ties in the state to get the Tigers going. Hughes promised changes and better results. After a 3-8 season, things looked up as Hughes and OC Chad Germany pulled in a good crop of recruits. However, after a 63-0 shellacking from TCU , question marks started to surface. Another loss to rival Tennessee State followed by a loss to Grambling State followed by loss after loss. The Blue Bengal Nation was left wondering if the JSU administration made a terrible mistake. Things went from bad to worse when Tuskegee, a division II HBCU school walloped the Tigers 34-7 just this past weekend. Losing to Tuskegee was a hard pill to swallow for the once proud program. Questions surfaced and folks are demanding answers. Whos is to blame? Do we blame Wheeler Brown ? Do we blame Tony Hughes. Do we blame Chad Germany? Do we blame the defensive staff? The Tiger Nation wants answers…..Heading into this weeks showdown against a rising and always tough Southern University Jaguars team will be a huge challenge. Hughes has gotten support from Brown. Hughes has also made changes on his staff signaling the possible exit of former OC and now Co-OC Chad Germany. Time will tell. Can JSU rite the ship now or another loss would put the Tigers in the history books at a possible 2-9 or and 0-11 season. Stay tuned.