Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Think of all the traditionally strong programs in Southwestern Athletic Conference history and Arkansas-Pine Bluff doesn't quite roll off the tongue.
But, oh, do the likes of Grambling State, Jackson State and Southern University, among others, wish they could be attempting to do what UAPB - yes, Pine Bluff - can do this season - repeat as the SWAC champion.
Since the SWAC started playing a championship game 15 seasons ago, only Grambling has been a repeat champion, winning three in a row from 2000-02.
UAPB won its first outright title last season, having only earned a four-way share of the 1996 crown before the championship game existed. And the Golden Lions return a veteran team this year, one that looks like it could be playing in Houston come Dec. 7.
"We are poised to repeat," UAPB coach Monte Coleman said. "The key for us is to stay healthy. Our senior leadership will be a big part of our success as a team."
In beating Jackson State, 24-21, in overtime, UAPB became the fifth straight West Division champion to defeat the East Division champion. Overall, 11 of the 14 games have gone to the West champ, although Texas Southern later vacated the 2010 title.
Following is a team-by-team breakdown of the 2013 Southwestern Athletic Conference race.
The Sports Network's predicted order of finish:
1. Jackson State
2. Alabama State
3. Alabama A&M
4. Mississippi Valley State
5. Alcorn State
1. Arkansas-Pine Bluff
3. Prairie View A&M
4. Texas Southern
5. Grambling State