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Stan Becton | NCAA.com | October 24, 2022

A wild week shakes up the HBCU football power rankings for Week 9

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Only two top-10 teams kept the same spot in this week's HBCU football power rankings thanks to a few upsets.

These are 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 9 HBCU Football Power Rankings

1. Jackson State | SWAC | 7-0 (5-0) | Prev: 1

Jackson State prevailed in its biggest test of the season, outlasting Campbell 22-14. While the game wasn't an offensive explosion, linebacker Aubrey Miller Jr. reminded everyone why he's one of the best players in the FCS with 13 tackles and a sack.

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2. Southern | SWAC | 5-2 (3-1) | Prev: 2

Southern handled its business on homecoming against a team that isn't in the NCAA. Up next, the Jaguars face Jackson State on the road.

3. Florida A&M | SWAC | 5-2 (3-1) | Prev: 5

Florida A&M had a bye last week.

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4. Prairie View A&M | SWAC | 4-3 (3-1) | Prev: 6

Prairie View A&M picked up a non-conference win over winless Lamar, 54-21. The Panthers still need help to return to the top of the SWAC West, but they don't play a team with a winning record in the remainder of the season.

5. North Carolina A&T | Big South | 4-3 (2-0) | Prev: 9

North Carolina A&T moves to the top five of this week's power rankings after starting 2-0 in Big South play. The Aggies remain in front of South Carolina State thanks to a head-to-head win. The Aggies also move in front of North Carolina Central because a lot has changed since that Week 1 loss. North Carolina A&T looks like a completely different team, winning four straight games.

6. South Carolina State | MEAC | 3-4 (1-0) | Prev: 10

Just like last year, South Carolina State showed that a bad start to the season doesn't mean anything once conference play rolls around, defeating North Carolina Central 26-24. Wide receiver Shaquan Davis looked unguardable against the Eagles.

7. North Carolina Central | MEAC | 5-2 (1-1) | Prev: 3

North Carolina Central drops in the rankings after losing to South Carolina State. The Eagles have lost two of their last three games, no longer controlling their path to the Celebration Bowl.

8. Alabama State | SWAC | 4-3 (2-2) | Prev: 11

Alabama State had a much-needed bye last week, providing time to heal before the Magic City Classic.

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9. Texas Southern | SWAC | 3-4 (3-2) | Prev: 12

Texas Southern picked up a big win, defeating Alcorn State 34-27. A winning record is within reach for the Tigers this season.

10. Hampton | CAA | 4-3 (1-3) | Prev: 7

Hampton lost to Richmond 41-10 in a CAA battle. The Pirates have some work to do before reaching the upper tier of their new conference.

PAST RANKINGS: Preseason | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8

11. Alcorn State | SWAC | 3-4 (2-2) | Prev: 4

Alcorn State couldn't protect the football, throwing three interceptions in a loss to Texas Southern. After leading the SWAC West, the Braves have now lost two straight SWAC West games.

12. Delaware State | MEAC | 4-3 (1-1) | Prev: 8

Delaware State couldn't spoil Howard's homecoming, falling to the Bison. The Hornets drop from the top 10.

13. Alabama A&M | SWAC | 2-4 (2-1) | Prev: 13

Alabama A&M had a bye last week. The Bulldogs enter the Magic City Classic on a three-game winning streak.

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14. Tennessee State | OVC | 3-4 (2-0) | Prev: 14

Tennessee State has now won two straight games, but a DII loss  keeps the Tigers from rising higher for now.

15. Bethune-Cookman | SWAC | 2-5 (2-2) | Prev: 17

Bethune-Cookman has two FCS wins after beating Mississippi Valley State. The other two-win FCS HBCUs have one FCS win.

16. Howard | MEAC | 2-5 (1-0) | Prev: 16

Howard picked up its second win of the season, defeating Delaware State during Bison homecoming. Entering Week 9, Howard is tied for first place in the MEAC.

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T-17. Morgan State | MEAC | 2-5 (0-2) | Prev: 15

Morgan State lost to a ranked Delaware team.

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T-17. Norfolk State | MEAC | 1-6 (1-1) | Prev: 18

Norfolk State had a bye last week. However, the Spartans move into a tie for 17th thanks to a head-to-head win over Morgan State.

19. Grambling State | SWAC | 1-6 (0-4) | Prev: 19

Grambling State had a bye last week.

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20. Arkansas-Pine Bluff | SWAC | 2-4 (0-3) | Prev: 20

Arkansas-Pine Bluff had a bye last week, firing its head coach during the time off.

21. Mississippi Valley State | SWAC | 0-8 (0-5) | Prev: 21

Mississippi Valley State lost last week to Bethune-Cookman, but the Delta Devils scored 35 points, their highest total of the season.

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