THE RATING GAME

1. GRAMBLING

Despite ULM loss, Tigers still class of the SWAC ... for now.

2. JACKSON STATE

JSU outlasted Tennessee State ... a team that pounded SU.

3. ALABAMA STATE

Believe it: Hornets could jump to No. 1 by beating Grambling.

4. PRAIRIE VIEW

In outgunning archrival TSU, Panthers got back on track.

5. ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF

With win over Alcorn, UAPB proved it?s still a dark horse.

6. TEXAS SOUTHERN

Reigning champs lost Labor Day Classic to PV ... yet again.

7. SOUTHERN

Jaguars got much-needed win. Now comes a stiff test: JSU.

8. ALCORN STATE

Braves are better than their 0-2 record ... but they?re still 0-2.

9. ALABAMA A&M

Bulldogs had ugly loss at SU, might lose again to Tuskegee.

10. MISS. VALLEY STATE

Delta Devils have been outscored 443-112 in past 12 games.

THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE

SATURDAY

Mississippi Valley State

at Alcorn State, 4 p.m.

Tuskegee

at Alabama A&M, 6 p.m.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff

at Prairie View, 6 p.m.

Jackson State

at Southern, 6 p.m.

Texas College

at Texas Southern, 6 p.m.

Grambling

at Alabama State, 7 p.m.

GAME OF THE WEEK

Grambling at Alabama State

7 p.m. Saturday

Cramton Bowl, Montgomery, Ala.

Yes, it's still very early. But based on the way these two teams have played so far, this could be an early preview of the SWAC Championship game. Both teams have played tough, solid defense in two games, and both teams have decent quarterbacks, D.J. Williams (58 percent, three TDs) and Greg Jenkins (69 percent, three TDs). ... Jenkins missed the second half of last week's game with an ankle injury, but coach Reggie Barlow said he'll probably return this week. 'He's going to get treatment around the clock,' Barlow said. ... In last year's meeting, Grambling held ASU to 201 yards of offense in a 22-7 win.

AROUND THE SWAC

• By and large, second-year Mississippi Valley State coach Karl Morgan, the Houma native and Vandebilt Catholic graduate, has kept a positive attitude with his overmatched, outmanned program ... even if his team is on a 12-game losing streak. But for Morgan, last week's 39-0 home loss to Murray State was the toughest so far. "This is the lowest I've been since I've been here," he said. "It took me a day or so to get out of it."

• What a week for Prairie View coach Heishma Northern. Leading up to their game against Texas Southern, the Panthers practiced outdoors only once because of the Texas wildfires. Texas A&M let the team practice in its indoor facility ... but on the way back to Prairie View, the team bus blew a tire. It was all worth it when Northern grabbed his first win as a head coach, 37-34, over the reigning SWAC champion. Most of Northern's family watched from the stands, including his father, who came in from Baton Rouge to watch the game.

• Alcorn coach Melvin Spears said his star quarterback, Brandon Bridge, was off the mark on several throws in a 27-21 loss at Arkansas-Pine Bluff. "We had some guys running wide open," Spears said. "We just didn't get it to them."

• Leave it to Doug Williams to aptly sum up his team's 35-7 loss to Louisiana-Monroe. "I can make it short," he said. "We got the hell beat out of us." Grambling's defense was on the field for 92 plays last week ... far too high a number. "We can honestly say that we assisted in those 28 points by giving them a short field," he added.