After a 3-0 start, Hampton faced a reality check against perennial CAA power, Delaware, losing 35-3. This week, the Pirates get some reprieve as they face 0-4 Maine at home. Hampton lacks significant history with a lot of the schools on their CAA schedule this season and Maine is not different as the Black Bears and Pirates have never faced off.
Yet, the Black Bears are no stranger to HBCUs. They are undefeated in seven meetings against HBCUs, all coming from the MEAC with victories over Morgan State and Howard. Howard was the most common victim with six defeats at the hands of the Black Bears. Out of those six meetings, only one was decided by less than 17 points, a 27-23 Maine victory in 1984. The average margin of victory was twenty points.
While both schools continue to keep their rivalry alive despite being in separate conferences, the stakes of a conference championship are gone. Yet, Pirates fans will have increased bragging rights if they defeat the Black Bears on the first try. Even though the Black Bears are struggling with an 0-4 record, any wins over their CAA counterparts are signs of progress after the Pirates struggled to a 4-9 mark in Big South play in their brief two-year stint in the conference.
The fact the Pirates can hold the Bisons’ historic struggles against Maine over their heads is a bonus to a win against the Black Bears. On top of this, the Bison have not beaten the Pirates since 2014.
On the surface, Saturday’s game between Maine and Hampton may look like a strange matchup that only conference realignment can concoct, but somehow it has the chance to give one fan base added bragging rights over another in one of Black College Football’s most iconic rivalries.