Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The South Carolina State University Bulldogs have captured the 2009 SBN Sports Black College National Football Championship. The Bulldogs posted a 10-2 record on the way to winning The SBN Jake Gaither National Championship Trophy for the first time since 1981.
Bulldog head coach Buddy Pough, whose team was runner-up to Grambling for the 2008 SBN title, said he was elated with the latest honor bestowed upon his team and credited his staff, the SC State players, the administration, faculty and staff, students, alumni and supporters, and the Orangeburg community for the achievement.
“In football, especially, noted Pough, “When you speak of a team effort, it’s a reality. “This latest honor – being named national champion by SBN – came about due to a real team effort.
“2009 was really a fun year for our team,” he continued. “I didn’t know how good the year would be but the win over Grambling in the MEAC-SWAC Challenge gave us some indication of what could happen. We encountered a lot of adversary along the way – surviving injuries to key players -- but there was a determination from our players and staff that kept us focused and battling on.
“I’m especially happy for our seniors, who can look back on this season as a milestone in their careers. I applaud our coaches who worked so hard preparing our young men week after week, and I thank the administration, our faculty and staff, students, supports and the community for their support.”
Grambling State was the preseason favorite to repeat as SBN National Champions while South Carolina State was chosen to finish in second place. The two teams would quickly switch poll positions after the Bulldogs defeated the Tigers in the season opener, 34-31. South Carolina State maintained the number one position throughout the regular and post-season.
In final balloting, South Carolina State garnered 17 first-place votes and 252 points. Prairie View A&M, the 2009 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Champions were second with 13 first-place votes and 239 points. Tuskegee finished in third place with 198 points, Florida A&M was ranked number four with 175 points and Grambling State was fifth with 161 points. Shaw, Norfolk State, Albany State, Alabama a&M and Morgan State rounded out the top ten.
South Carolina State University will be honored during the 36th Annual SBN Sports Black College All-American Awards Weekend, February 12-14, in Orlando, Florida. American Urban Radio Networks will also be honoring the 24-member SBN All-American Team, SBN's Coach of the Year and SBN's Offensive and Defensive players of the Year. Special invited guests include former SBN Black College All-Americans, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Arizona Cardinals), Kendall Langford (Miami Dolphins) and Antoine Bethea (Indianapolis Colts). SBN Black College All-American committee members scheduled to attend include, NFL Hall of Famer Mel Blount, L.C. Greenwood, Billy “White Shoes” Johnson and Eddie Robinson, Jr.