- Florida A&M is claiming an HBCU national championship for itself, even though it didn’t win.
- This is not unfamiliar territory for the state of Florida and it’s déjà vu all over again.
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For the second time in the last five years, a college football team in Florida is claiming a national title that it did not win. Florida A&M says that it is the 2021 HBCU national champion despite not earning that title.
In 2017, the University of Central Florida went 13-0 with a Peach Bowl win over Auburn and claimed a national title. The NCAA has since recognized UCF’s national championship, having added them to the record book in 2018.
It was a lot like when the BCS named one team as the national champion but the AP Poll named a different team as the national champion. They were both “winners” even though the top team in the BCS rankings was the real champion.
Something similar is unfolding in Tallahassee this season.
From the game’s inception in 2015, the victor of the Celebration Bowl has been crowned as the undisputed Historically Black College and University national champion. This year, that victor was South Carolina State.
The Bulldogs were MEAC champions and put a beatdown on Deion Sanders and the SWAC champions Jackson State. They even danced on Coach Prime’s grave.
As such, S.C. State is considered the HBCU national champs.
However, Florida A&M is disputing that title and claims it for itself. The declaration comes after being ranked No. 1 in NCAA.com’s final 2021 power rankings.
— Florida A&M Football 🏈 (@FAMU_FB) December 19, 2021
The Rattlers began their season against the Tigers on September 5th. In a defensive tug-of-war, Coach Prime’s JSU team edged FAMU 7-6.
One month later, FAMU hosted S.C. State and nearly pitched a shutout. The Bulldogs scored their only points in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter and lost 30-7.
South Carolina State then went on to route Jackson State in the Celebration Bowl.
The picture is muddy, but Florida A&M sees it clearly. It played Jackson State to a one-point loss and beat the Celebration Bowl champions.
Thus, by transitive property, the Rattlers are claiming the HBCU title. Even though it isn’t their title to claim. Just like UCF.