Know Your Foe – Norfolk State University Spartans
One of my favorite features on another blog that I used to read all the time was a feature they called “Know Your Foe”. They would run down the history and stuff about Michigan football opponents for the week. If people like this, this is a feature I would like to start doing on this blog. So after exhaustive research (i.e., looking at Wikipedia), I bring you “Know Your Foe”.
Norfolk State is a historically black college that is located in Norfolk, Virginia. Norfolk is also home to Naval Station Norfolk which is the largest naval base in the world. It is the home of five aircraft carriers and various supporting ships. Norfolk-Southern Railroad (which is a descendant of the Norfolk and Western depicted above) also calls Norfolk home, along with the Maersk Line which is the largest US flagged cargo fleet.
Norfolk State is accredited to issue associates, bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees. It was established in 1935 as a unit of the Virginia State College (now University) and had an initial class of 85 students. In 1942, it was known as Norfolk Polytechnic Institute. In 1969, it was split off from Virginia State College and became Norfolk State College and in 1979 it became a University. The campus itself is located on the former Memorial Park Golf Course which was sold to the college by the city of Norfolk for 1 dollar. Currently there are 6,200 undergrads and 835 post-graduate students enrolled at the University.
There are 13 teams that represent the Norfolk State Spartans. They play in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and are a Division 1-AA (or FCS as the kids call it these days). Their basketball team has only appeared in the NCAA Tournament once. They were a 15th seed and defeated number two seed Missouri. Norfolk State has never faced off against Eastern Michigan in basketball.
They have a few notable alumni. One of them was Paul Hines who was the inspiration for Denzel Washington’s character in Remember the Titans.
Norfolk State goes into the game tonight with a 19 and 14 record (11 and 5 in the MEAC). They average 71 points per game. Their scoring is led by Pendarvis Williams and Malcolm Hawkins. I am going to guess they are like the non-conference opponents that Eastern defeated earlier in the season.
I think the keys to the game are the keys that are normal for Eastern. If Eastern’s defence can hold down the Spartans, we should be fine.
As for the game itself, I’m not a huge fan of the bowl inflation that has creeped into football and I view this tournament as something similar. Despite that, I’m excited that the Eagles get to play in some sort of post-season tournament. I am hoping this can be like the NIT for many teams in that it is a springboard for good things in the next season. So I can’t wait to see you all at the Convocation Center.