1. NC A&T University Aggies (MEAC) 2-0
Maybe the Triad is not a college football hotbed like, say, south Alabama or all of Texas. But we’re not without some prospects. Take the Aggies, who by virtue of an early season start have the best record in the Triad at 2-0. But they top the list because of this weekend’s win against ECU at the Pirates’ hope opener that established them as a contender. Look for veteran quarterback Lamar Raynard to hand off his legacy to backup Kylil Carter as the season progresses.
2. Winston-Salem State University Rams (CIAA) 1-0
Were it not for an unfortunate development for Wake Forest, the Rams might be No. 3 on this list. Unlike the Deacons, the future looks pretty solid for WSSU, which plays in a conference with other HBCUs. They beat UNC-Pembroke in a 2-day contest for their first week, stretched out over the weekend by a rain delay, with almost 150 yards on the ground while allowing just 54 rushing yards.
3. Wake Forest University Demon Deacons (ACC) 1-0
Let’s face it: Wake Forest is the biggest football program in the Triad, a genuine Division I operation that has more resources than most of these other schools’ entire athletic departments. And they started off strong this year, too, with a Week 1 win against a soft Tulane squad. But they’ve got powerhouses on their schedule in Notre Dame, Boston College, Florida State and Clemson. And they lost three players — offensive tackle Justin Herron, defensive lineman Elontae Bateman and safety Coby Davis — to season-ending injuries in that Tulane game.
4. Guilford College (ODAC) 0-0
Tough to rank Guilford College after a middling performance last year in the ODAC, and their home opener this season against Huntingdon was declared as no contest after an extended rain delay. In those cases, NCAA rules dictate that no stats from the game be entered into the record, like it never happened. In actuality, the Quakers were down after 45 minutes of play 58-48, which must have made for an exciting three quarters of football.
5. Greensboro College (USAS) 0-1
Even deep into the NCAA’s Division II, where Greensboro College shares a conference with schools such as Gallaudet University and Ferrum College, the Pride can’t get no respect. They lost their season opener, against Newport News Apprentice School, 34-13.