There are no Division I HBCUs schools in Atlanta nor Georgia, but the SWAC and MEAC are making strides to build a strong relationship there.

The Cricket Celebration Bowl was the first of the two games, where the MEAC and SWAC regular season champs face off for the title of HBCU national champion and to “celebrate” the history, legacy, and pageantry of HBCUs.  The game was always played in Atlanta, where it started in 2015 at the Falcons’ old stadium, the Georgia Dome, and North Carolina A&T defeated Alcorn State 41-34 in a thriller.  The MEAC/SWAC Challenge is the older of the two games (it was established in 2005). Still, it didn’t make its way to Atlanta until 2018, where Prairie View A&M defeated North Carolina Central 40-24 in Georgia State football’s stadium, now known as Center Parc Stadium.

Both games have become benchmarks for HBCU football fans, with the MEAC/SWAC Challenge taking place in Week 0 and the Celebration Bowl serving as the culmination.  And the city of Atlanta has fulfilled the host role for years. But there’s an anecdote that creates an intriguing view of the present and future of each conference.  Neither the MEAC nor the SWAC has a member institution in Atlanta or the state of Georgia.  It wasn’t always like that — Savannah State was in the MEAC at one point but decided to transition to Division II in 2019.  Now the two Division I HBCU conferences play their two biggest games in a state with zero Division I HBCUs.

Comments are closed.

Close Search Window