Grambling State and South Carolina State have nothing but respect for each other as they look ahead to competing in the fifth annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge Sept. 6 in Orlando.
Grambling State, last season’s SWAC champion and Black College national champion, has been picked to win the conference again this season and expects a tough game against South Carolina State, the reigning MEAC champion.
“We’ve been watching a lot of film (on South Carolina State) and I can tell you they’ve got a fine football team,” Grambling coach Rod Broadway said on a conference call promoting the event. “We’re looking forward to the challenge of competing against them.”
Both programs are competing in the event for the second time, Grambling losing to Hampton in 2006 and South Carolina State defeating Alabama State in the inaugural event in Birmingham in 2005. S.C. State coach Buddy Pough said the event organizers hosted ‘a first-class affair’ and his program jumped at the opportunity to participate in this year’s event.
“The last experience was a good one for us five years ago,” he said. “It’s definitely a first-class affair. It’s everything, more than just the game.”
This year’s game will be played at the Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando, where Hampton defeated Jackson State 17-13 last season. The first three games of the event were played in Birmingham with MEAC winning two – giving the conference a 3-1 edge over its counterparts from the SWAC.
“The MEAC does have a 3-1 advantage in this series,” MEAC commissioner Dennis Thomas said jokingly. But he was more serious when he added, “congratulations to ESPN for having the vision and courage to televise Black College football.”
So, who do you think will prevail – Grambling or South Carolina State? Will S.C. State expand the MEAC’s lead in the series or will Grambling win and close the deficit?
Let the discussion begin …..
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Tuskegee opened the season last weekend with an impressive 27-7 victory over Benedict in Columbia, S.C. Jacary Atkinson is no longer running the Golden Tigers’ offense, but redshirt freshman Jeremy Williams was solid in his first start, passing for 197 yards and adding a rushing touchdown.
It was the 17th straight conference win for Tuskegee, who will face Miles College Sept. 6 at Legion Field in Birmingham.
THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
Many of you are probably aware of this already, but the good folks over at Onnidan’s HBCU Sports Online do a great job of compiling and presenting the week-by-week Black College schedule. Here’s this week’s schedule, including a pair of Thursday games:
Albany State at Chowan, 6 p.m.
East Stroudsburg at Virginia Union, 7 p.m.
West Virginia Wesleyan at Saint Paul’s, 1 p.m.
Johnson C. Smith at West Virginia Tech, 1 p.m.
Central State at West Virginia State, 1 p.m.
Catawba at Saint Augustine’s, 1:30 p.m.
Lincoln, Pa at Cheyney, 4 p.m.
Brevard at Edward Waters, 5 p.m.
Texas College at Concordia, 6 p.m.
New Mexico Prep at Langston, 6 p.m.
Lane at Miles, 7 p.m.
UNC Pembroke at Fayetteville State, 7 p.m.
Virginia State at Livingstone, 6 p.m.
Elizabeth City State at Shaw, 6 p.m.
Stillman at Kentucky State, 8 p.m.
Benedict at Morehouse, 7 p.m.
Upper Iowa at Lincoln, Mo. 8 p.m.
Bowie State at Slippery Rock, 8 p.m.
Clark Atlanta at Fort Valley, 8 p.m.