With an impressive slate of current and former band directors behind the wheel, and a long road to HBCU cultural credibility in front of it, ESPN’s The Undefeated has revealed its inaugural HBCU Marching Band rankings list, with the Bethune-Cookman University Marching Wildcats taking the number one spot.
The rankings, conducted by a nine-person panel of top band directors associated with historically black colleges and universities, will evaluate bands on musicality, drill and design, percussion, auxiliary corps, drum majors and other key factors. Each week, judges will review video content on a secure site to make recommendations for rankings.
Certain to earn millions of hits and thousands of expletives on message boards and social media throughout the duration of the football season, the list will be the primer for the site’s ‘Band of the Year’ award to be revealed during the 2017 Celebration Bowl.
The list only ranks marching bands from the historically black Division I Mid-Eastern Athletic and Southwestern Athletic Conferences for the 2017 season, and promises inclusion of the Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association bands beginning in 2018.