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Jackson State has a National Championship to Win
The end goal this season for Jackson State is clear: These Tigers want a black college national championship.
“We’re that good,” offensive lineman Rodrick Gladney said recently. “They say we can’t go to the SWAC championship. They can’t stop a national champion.”
Banned from the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship Game for low academic scores, JSU’s quest for an undefeated season and a mythical black national championship may face its toughest test in the second game of the season this week: a meeting in Memphis with Tennessee State, an opponent that has given the Tigers fits in the past.
TSU leads the series 24-19-2 and has won seven of the last eight meetings. To win the school’s third black national title - selected via the Sheridan Broadcasting Network poll - JSU can’t afford a loss. The Tigers were ranked No. 7 in the preseason Sheridan Broadcasting Network poll. No. 4 Grambling is the only team on JSU’s schedule currently ranked higher than it.
That said, it’s evident the Tigers are confident in their goal. At the conclusion of nearly every practice, the team huddles together and breaks with this chant: “national champs!” Just a few months ago, the chant was “SWAC champs!”
Coach Rick Comegy even admits that a national title is the goal. “It’s our 100th year of football. Lots out there,” he said. “Black national championship is out there.”
No ruling on Dandridge yet
The SWAC has yet to rule on DB Tim Dandridge’s ejection in the third quarter of the Tigers’ win over Concordia College, a league spokesman said Tuesday.
It’s possible Dandridge could miss some of this week’s game. There is no policy on the consequences of an ejection, said Tom Galbraith, SWAC assistant commissioner for communications. It’s at the discretion of conference officials. Comegy said he’s hoping to hear a ruling soon.
Dandridge, a Minnesota transfer, was tossed after a hard hit out of bounds Saturday. Dandridge’s backup at Buck, a hybrid defensive back/outside linebacker position, is freshman Ryan Griffin. Dandridge also fills in for both starting cornerbacks. “I definitely made a dumb mistake that will never, ever happen again,” Dandridge said.
by Ross Dellenger, Clarion Ledger