Alabama State vs. Alabama A&M
THE GAME: It's the 70th State Farm Magic City Classic, presented by Coca-Cola as the Hornets and Alabama A&M Bulldogs battle for first place in the SWAC's Eastern Division.
THE SERIES: This is the 75th meeting between the rivals, the 70th in the Magic City Classic. AAMU leads the overall series 36-35-3. The Bulldogs lead the series in the Magic City Classic, 35-31-3. Last season, the Hornets ended a five-game losing streak to Alabama A&M with a 31-10 victory.
LAST TIME OUT: Both teams extended their winning streaks to five games, defeating their SWAC Texas foes. Alabama State won its ninth consecutive SWAC game by defeating Prairie View A&M 20-7 on Oct. 15. Alabama A&M downed Texas Southern 24-21 on Oct. 13.
HORNETS CAN CLINCH SWAC BERTH WITH WIN: Anytime the Hornets and Bulldogs get together, regardless of sport, it's a big deal. The ante is raised and heighten this Saturday. A win by Alabama State against its arch rivals clinches the Eastern Division title for a second straight season and a berth in the SWAC Championship Game on Dec. 10.
FAST START Getting out the gates quickly has been a staple of Reggie Barlow's ASU teams, as three times in five years the Hornets have started 3-1. However, for the first time since 2005, ASU is not only 6-1 overall, but also 6-0 in SWAC play.
HORNETS TOP-RANKED, CLIMBING THE CHARTS: Since October 3, Alabama State has been the top-ranked team in Black College Football by several polls. The Sheridan Broadcasting Network (SBN) media poll, Heritage Sports Radio Network (HSRN) media poll, both the Boxtorow. com media and coaches polls, and Urban Sports News all have the Hornets number one. Alabama State moved into the FCS Sports Network/ Fathead.com Top 25 on Oct. 10, coming in at No. 24. The Hornets were ranked No. 19 on Oct. 17, and are currently ranked 16th this week.