Streaking Braves invade Jaguars’ lair…TSU travels to Alabama ……Tournament seeds on the line….

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As we approach the final leg of the 2017 SWAC season, postseason awaits the top 8 teams in the conference. Texas Southern sits on top by a game over red hot Alcorn State at 12-2. The Tigers however travel to Montgomery to take on an Alabama State team that’s desperate for a win in order to stay in the hunt for a post season invite to conference Tournament. The Hornets are reeling off two tough losses on the road to Alcorn State and Southern. The hottest team in the conference is the Braves of Alcorn. Already , tournament bound, the Braves, 12-3 aim to over take Texas Southern this weekend as the travel to Baton Rouge to take on the surging Southern Jaguars. Alcorn is looking for the series sweep , however, the Jaguars have seem to have found the right recipe to win close games. Southern at 10-5 look to lock up a tournament seed with a victory.

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There’s seems to be a 3 team log jam with Grambling, Jackson State and Prairie View all sitting at 7-7 vying for the 4th place seed which also offers a home court advantage in the first round of the SWAC Tournament. The G-MEN travel to Pine Bluff , to take on the reeling UAPB Lions. Grambling looks to make history as the have already surpassed their victory total from last season. JSU travels to Itta Bena to take on the reeling Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils. As we already know, the Devils are tough to beat at home and they still hopeful of making the tournament field. PVAMU travel to Huntsville to take on a lowly Alabama A&M Bulldog team who is still looking for an identity as of late. A win for any of those teams will definitely go a long way as the 2017 SWAC season concludes.

SWAC Standings as of February 23…….

  1. Texas Southern                  12-2
  2. Alcorn State                        12-3
  3. Southern                              10-5
  4. Grambling                            7-7  

          Jackson St                             7-7

          PVAMU                                  7-7

     5. Alabama State                     6-8

     6. UAPB                                      6-9

     7. MVSU                                     4-11

     8 AAMU                                      1-13

 

 

 

 

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Can Alcorn State catch Texas Southern and dethrone the Tigers??

 

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Good morning, Ok….It’s SWAC Basketball season and we are about at the 3/4 point of the season. With only the top 8 teams qualifying for this years’ SWAC tournament, and the top 4 hosting the first round, it’s getting pretty sticky this time of the year. Texas Southern looks to repeat again as conference regular season champions however, Alcorn State Braves have been on a tear winning 7 straight games and is the hottest team in the SWAC as of late. The Braves fresh off a victory at UAPB is playing lights out. Coach Montiez Robinson has done a great job turning around a once proud program back into a contender. Robinson, in his third year has upgraded the roster with the likes of Reginald Johnson, Marquis Vance and A.J. Mosley to lead a well balance scoring machine. Johnson , Vance and Mosley average double figures each night. After a horrid start of the season the Braves seem to have found a rotation that has done wonders for Coach Robinson. Heading into this weekend’s slate, the Braves sit one game behind leader Texas Southern. With the Tigers taking a loss at Jackson State it made things more meaningful for the Braves. Southern University trails the Braves by 2 games followed by Jackson State which is trying to hold off PVAMU among others for the fourth seed. However, I have seen many thing s happen. Can Alcorn dethrone Mighty TSU? Stay tuned.

 

This weeks schedule..Saturday’s schedule.                                                 Monday’s scheduled

Alabama State at Alcorn State                                                                        AAMU at Alcorn State

Alabama A&M at Southern                                                                         Alabama State at Southern

Grambling at Jackson State                                                                          UAPB at PVAMU

Mississippi Valley at Prairie View                                                                        MVSU at TSU

UAPB at Texas Southern

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In Houston for Super Bowl 51 ? Attend The Johnnie Cochran Salute to Excellence event….ONE EVENT YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS

 

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It’s Super Bowl week in Houston, Texas. Many folks will merge on to the Bayou City looking to have tons of fun as well as attend many NFL themed events plus the celebrity parties . One event that sure will be a top is the NFL Themed Johnnie Cochran Salute to excellence event hosted by the Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation. The event will salute former HBCU All Americans as well as other national and local stars. The event is hosted by my good friend, Max Edison , sports director of the famed Houston Defender. The event will take place February 2, 2017 starting at 5.pm at the Kingdom Builder’s Center located on West Orem in Southwest Houston.  NFL Hall of Fame members that are from HBCU’s. Gentlemen like Elvin Bethea, Ken Houston, Mel Blount, Aeneas Williams, Jackie Slater, Jerry Rice, etc. Also Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams will be in attendance. Come out and support a great cause as well as support History as the NFL greats are saluted for their hard work on and off the field. This is an event you don’t want to miss……

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Here ‘s a little background information on the importance of this event. 

On September 30, 2002, Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. and Cyrus Mehri issued a ground-breaking report – Black Coaches in the National Football League: Superior Performance, Inferior Opportunities- revealing that black NFL head coaches are held to a higher standard than their white counterparts, and are consequently denied a fair chance to compete for head coaching jobs.

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The report opened the NFL’s eyes to its teams’ unfair hiring processes. One month later, on October 31, 2002, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced the formation of a diversity committee, headed by Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney, to address the NFL’s minority-hiring practices. Within two months, the League announced a diversity plan, which included the requirement that each team interview at least one minority candidate prior to selecting a head coach. The Rooney Rule has already positively impacted the League.

On March 10, 2003, the Fritz Pollard Alliance was formed as an affinity group of NFL minority coaches, scouts and front office personnel. During the last couple of years the FPA has worked with the NFL to develop hiring guidelines for front office and scouting positions as well as talent development programs. The FPA advocates for policy changes in the NFL hiring practices and working in partnership with the NFL to create opportunities for minority candidates.

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G-MEN start slow but finish strong…….Tigers heading to Bowl season…..

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The Grambling State Tigers finished the 2016 regular season with vengeance….Looking to make amends for last season debacle against the defending champs Alcorn State Braves, the G-Men’s game plan was to smash the gas early and often. However, Coach Fred McNair almost pulled a rabbit out his hat. The Braves looked like the championship team early on as the moved the ball up and down the field against the number one defense in the SWAC. QB Lenooris Footman , Norlando Veals and Delance Turner were a three headed  combination as the Braves raced out to a  17-0 lead at the break. I really mean , they looked like the dominant team while the Tigers looked defeated in more ways then one. 

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However as they always say, there are two halves to a football game and the second half seemed to be the one that the G-Men realized we must win. Grambling looked like the team of old as they played with more passion and broke the drought out scoring the Braves 27-3 in second half and hang on to defeat the Braves 27-20. QB DeVante Kincade passes for 237 yards and 2 touchdowns. WR Chad Williams caught 6 balls for 103 yards but no scores. RB Martez Carter rushed for 136 yards and 1 Touchdown.  

Alcorn had a chance to break open the game in the first half as converted TE Michael Ajumobi dropped two would be touchdowns. The Braves were paced by Lenoois Footman’s 259 yards passing. RB Delance Turner’s 126 yards rushing was tops for the Braves. 

 

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With the win Grambling advances to the Celebration Bowl to take on North Carolina Central University at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on December 17. 

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Realsportsrealtalk Mid-Week Commentary: Will G-Men break through or Will Freddie Mac have a surprise up his sleeve in Houston?

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In 2015 , the Grambling State Tigers seemed to be primed for a trip to Atlanta to participate in the Celebration Bowl. However, the Alcorn State Braves had other plans en-route to a 49-21 shellacking of the G-MEN. The Braves spoiled what was considered Coach Broderick Fobbs year to win it all. Well, the G-MEN are back for redemption and yes, the Alcorn State Braves stand in the way of the Tigers’ path to the promise land of Atlanta and the Celebration Bowl. This is not the same Brave team of the past. Coach Hopson has moved on the bigger things and Fred McNair has replaced him. The Braves have struggled all year and back doored themselves into the SWAC Championship game with a 5-5 record. Grambling on the other hand has ran the table to an 9-1 record with their only loss to Arizona , a game which the Tigers lead 21-0 at half. However, after watching the Tigers chew up on once undefeated Southern 52-30 in the Bayou Classic, looks like Grambling is ready to make a point..I mean a huge point in the rematch with the Braves. 

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Coach Broderick Fobbs seem to have his guys focused and ready to go. QB DeVante Kincade , MVP of the Bayou Classic leads the team with 2,633 yards passing and 28 Touchdowns. RB Martez Carter has over 1,500 yards of total offense. RB Justin Kelly has 741 yards rushing with 8 touchdowns. WR Chad Williams has caught 80 balls for 1,190 yards with 10 touchdowns. WR Verlan Hunter and Dominque Leak are also weapons the Tigers can count on.  Defensively, the G-Men rank number one on team defense in the SWAC. With all the weapons at Fobbs disposal, it might be a one hitter quitter for the G-MEN.

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But don’t count out the Braves yet. Many believe that this Brave team is at it’s healthiest all season. With QB Lenooris Footman back to 100%, the Braves are capable of anything. QB Noah Johnson has been playing well of late and both Footman and Johnson can cause havoc as a 2 headed monster. Johnson’s 1,116 yards passing and 11 touchdowns paces the Braves offense. RB De’Lance Turner along with Johnson and Footman can also cause havoc on the ground. WR Jabor. McKenzie and Norlando Veals lead the Braves receiving game with nearly 1,000 yards receiving and 9 touchdowns between the both of them. The Braves defense isn’t too far behind as the Braves ranked 3rd in total defense. With nothing to lose, I do expect McNair and the Braves to throw everything including the kitchen sink at the Tigers. However, if the G-MEN come in and put the metal to the pedal, it could be a long night for the Braves. Your thoughts?….Stay Tuned……

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G-MEN make point in win over Jags…..Seeks revenge against “Hopson-less” Braves……

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The Bayou Classic was billed as the game of the century as both Grambling and Southern brought undefeated records into New Orleans. However, only one team seem to want it more. The Tigers jumped on the Jaguars early and often to win 52-30 in the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Classic MOP DeVante Kincade played flawless as he 283 yards and 1 Touchdown. RB Martez Cartez, billed as Mr. Excitement put on a show as well. Carter rushed for 118 yards and 2 touchdowns. WR Chad Williams caught 10 balls for 89 yards and 1 touch down. It was the Tiger defense that did damage. The Tiger’s limited the Jaguar’s kick off specialist to 0 touches as the Tigers kicked away from him all game long.

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Southern’s Lenard Tillery did his damage as usual as he rushed for 234 yards and 1 td. Tillery broke off an 85 td run in the second quarter to bring the Jags within 4 at 17-13 at the break. QB Austin Howard threw for 190 yards and 3 touchdowns. However, the one flaw that came back to hunt the Jags was Howard’s fumble into the end zone which seemed to be a TD but was later called a touch back giving the Tigers the ball at their 20 to start yet another TD drive.

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Southern ends it’s magical season at 8-3 and 8-1 in conference play. The G-MEN move to 9-1 and get’s another crack at Alcorn State in Houston for the SWAC Championship and the right to play MEAC’S North Carolina Central University in the Celebration Bowl in Atlanta. 

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Realsportsrealtalk Midweek Commentary: Grambling State and Southern; Both undefeated …Bayou Classic history……

 

Rivalries seem to bring out the best in us. Traditions never change. As a young kid growing up in Baton Rouge , I became part of the family in this so called family tradition which includes the Grambling State and Southern University match up taking place in New Orleans. This game is coined the Bayou Classic. I remember as a young boy attending this game with my grandmother MAMA JAG , staying on Friday night in the Hyatt Regency. We attended all the functions which included the annual men’s basketball game between both schools. Back in those days, Grambling State was viewed as the bully while Southern was viewed as the so called pretty boy school. Dating back in the 40’s and 50’s , Southern would get the best of G-Men as a young coach named Eddie Robinson would try to make a name for himself. Southern’s Odie Posey and Grambling’s Tank Younger made the headlines. In the 60’s , Robinson went after size and size he had with Ernie Ladd and Buck Buchanan leading the way. Southern had the speed as Frank Pitts and Mel Blount paced the Jaguars. As integration begin to take whole, the 70’s offered change for many HBCU’s .

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Both Grambling and Southern saw a dip in talent as many young black athletes saw opportunity in attending white universities. However some remained and it was enough to produce excitement at both schools. With the brain child of Grambling’s Collie Nicholson, the Bayou Classic was born in the fall of 1973. With crowds busting out the seems, Nicholson approached Southern’s administration about moving the game to a neutral site where everyone could enjoy. First stop, Shreveport’s Independence Stadium where nearly 50,000 attended the match up. The Tigers won 19-14 in that match up. The next year both schools agreed to take their show to New Orleans at the historic Tulane Stadium. The Tigers won that one 21-0. The G-Men dominated the series in the 70’s until 1979 when Southern pulled off a huge upset with a 14-7 victory. The 80’s rolled around and the G-Men got the best of the Jaguars. However, when Southern Athletic Director Marino Casem hired a up and coming Pete Richardson, the tide soon changed. Southern dominated the 90’s winning 9 out of the ten meetings between the teams. Former Tiger star Doug Williams took over as Eddie Robinson retired. Williams brought back some of the dominance as the G-Men split the series at 5 a piece. However , the last 6 years the Tigers and Jaguars have fought to a 3-3 series split.   

This year’s game will be history in the making. Both teams currently sit at 7-0 with Southern hosting a 1-8 Mississippi Valley team while the Tigers travel to Houston to take on a 4-6 Texas Southern team . Both Jags and Tigers are expected to win and with that being said, history will be made as both teams come in undefeated playing for not only a birth in the SWAC Championship game , but for tradition as well as for bragging right s the new improve Bayou Classic trophy. History is being made at the Bayou Classic.

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