The final score of Southern’s opening defeat at Louisiana Tech on Saturday wouldn’t figure to impress pollsters.

But even after the 62-15 blowout loss, the Jaguars are ranked in the top 10 of the BOXTOROW rankings of Historically Black Colleges and Universities released Monday.

The limited number of HBCU football programs, especially at the FCS level, leave a limited number of potential ranked teams so the poll features just a Top 10.

The Jaguars were ranked No. 7 in the coaches poll and they tied Hampton for No. 9 in the media poll.

Many of Southern’s counterparts also took their lumps against FBS opponents and many of the teams that won their openers did so against teams from lower classifications.

The polls agreed on the top two teams as both had North Carolina A&T, which beat Shaw 61-7, ranked first followed immediately by South Carolina State, which defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 35-7 in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge on Sunday.

Defending Southwestern Athletic Conference and BOXTOROW national champion Alcorn State was ranked No. 3 by the coaches and received five first-place votes. The media had the Braves fifth.

Other SWAC teams that were ranked were Grambling, a 73-14 loser to Cal, and Prairie View, a 38-11 winner over Texas Southern in the only SWAC match-up of the first weekend.

The BOXTOROW HBCU FCS coaches and media polls are administered by FROM THE PRESS BOX TO PRESS ROW. The coaches poll is voted on by the HBCU FCS coaches and the media poll is voted on by media members around the country who cover HBCU football.

Here are the two polls and Southern beat writer’s Les East’s ballot:

Coaches Poll

Rank School W-L Pts. Last Week

  • North Carolina A&T (5) 1-0 154 2
  • South Carolina State (5) 1-0 141 4
  • Alcorn State (5) 0-1 138 1
  • North Carolina Central (1) 1-0 102 7
  • Bethune-Cookman 0-1 96 3
  • Tennessee State (2) 1-0 94 8
  • Southern 0-1 69 5
  • Grambling State 0-1 55 6
  • Prairie View 1-0 47 NR
  • Hampton 1-0 36 NR
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