MEAC/SWAC Challenge

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MEAC/SWAC Challenge
Ford MEAC/SWAC Challenge (2005–2006)[1]
MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney (2008[2]–2015[3])
Stadium A. W. Mumford Stadium (2017)
Location Louisiana Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Previous stadiums Legion Field (2005–2007)
Camping World Stadium (2008–2013, 2015)
Spectrum Stadium (2014)
Municipal Stadium (2016)
Previous locations Alabama Birmingham, Alabama (2005–2007)
Florida Orlando, Florida (2008–2015)
Florida Daytona Beach, Florida (2016)
Operated 2005–present
Conference tie-ins Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC)
Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC)
ESPN (2005[4]–present[5])
Ford (2005–2006)[1]
Walt Disney World Resort (2008[2]–2015[3])

The MEAC/SWAC Challenge is an annual historically black college college football game showcasing a team from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and a team from the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).[6] The series began in 2005[7] and initially paired the defending conference champions,[8] although the selection process was broadened to include non-champions as well, in 2007. Currently the MEAC leads the series with nine wins to the SWAC's two (along with a "no contest" game in 2016[9]). The Challenge is televised nationally on ESPN and is owned by ESPN Events. It is associated with the Labor Day weekend.[2][7]


South Carolina State beat Alabama State in the first Challenge in 2005, and for its first three years the event was held in Birmingham, Alabama (home of the SWAC's offices[10]), at Legion Field. In 2007, the event attracted its largest crowd—over 30,000—as Southern beat Florida A&M and earned the SWAC's first victory in the series. In 2008, the Challenge moved to Orlando, Florida after a new sponsorship was announced;[2] Walt Disney World Resort would sponsor the event for eight years until 2015.[3] From 2008–13, as well as in 2015, it was held in Orlando at the Florida Citrus Bowl, now called Camping World Stadium. In 2014, the game was played at Spectrum Stadium as the Citrus Bowl underwent renovations. In April 2016, it was announced that the game would move to campus sites for 2016 and 2017 (on September 4, 2016, Bethune-Cookman attempted to host Alcorn State in Daytona Beach, Florida, but the game was halted before halftime due to weather issues,[5] and on September 3, 2017, Southern will host South Carolina State in Baton Rouge, Louisiana).[11]

Nine future NFL draft picks have played in the Challenge. They are Phillip Adams (South Carolina State), Michael Coe (Alabama State), Johnny Culbreath (South Carolina State), Justin Durant (Hampton), Javon Hargrave (South Carolina State), Temarrick Hemingway (South Carolina State), Curtis Holcomb (Florida A&M), Tarvaris Jackson (Alabama State), and Kendall Langford (Hampton).[12]

Game notes[edit]

Year MEAC representative Score SWAC representative Attendance Location
2005 South Carolina State 27–14 Alabama State 18,452 Legion Field (Birmingham, Alabama)
2006 Hampton 27–26 (OT)[13] Grambling State 19,175 Legion Field (Birmingham, Alabama)
2007 Florida A&M 27–33 Southern 30,106 Legion Field (Birmingham, Alabama)
2008 Hampton 17–13 Jackson State 10,723 Camping World Stadium (Orlando, Florida)
2009 South Carolina State 34–31 Grambling State 21,367 Camping World Stadium (Orlando, Florida)
2010 Delaware State 27–37 Southern 16,327 Camping World Stadium (Orlando, Florida)
2011 Bethune-Cookman 63–14 Prairie View A&M 17,337 Camping World Stadium (Orlando, Florida)
2012 Bethune-Cookman 38–28 Alabama State 17,410 Camping World Stadium (Orlando, Florida)
2013 Florida A&M 27–10[14] Mississippi Valley 24,376[15] Camping World Stadium (Orlando, Florida)
2014 North Carolina A&T 47–13 Alabama A&M 8,210[16] Spectrum Stadium (Orlando, Florida)
2015 South Carolina State 35–7 Arkansas–Pine Bluff 7,257 Camping World Stadium (Orlando, Florida)
2016 Bethune-Cookman 7-13 22:46 - Lightning * Alcorn State 6,000[5] Municipal Stadium (Daytona Beach, Florida)
2017 South Carolina State TBD Southern TBD A. W. Mumford Stadium (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)

Note: *—Score is unofficial. Game called no contest with 7:14 remaining in the 2nd Quarter (22:46 point of game) as game had not reached official status prior to lightning ending the event.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "ESPN Announces 2006 MEAC / SWAC Challenge Game". February 27, 2006. Retrieved April 24, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Tickets for the 2008 MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney Go on Sale June 1". 2008. Retrieved April 24, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c "Matchups Announced for 2015 MEAC/SWAC Challenge". March 16, 2015. Retrieved April 24, 2017. 
  4. ^ "MEAC/SWAC Challenge set". Baton Rouge Advocate (sec. D, p. 3). October 1, 2004. 
  5. ^ a b c d Andreas Butler (September 8, 2016). "Not one for the record books: The unfinished MEAC/SWAC Challenge will have no negative financial implications for the universities, conferences or ESPN". Retrieved April 23, 2017. 
  6. ^ MEAC/SWAC Challenge – ESPN Events. ESPN.
  7. ^ a b "MEAC/SWAC Challenge: About". 2016. Retrieved April 24, 2017. 
  8. ^ "State Capsules: Hampton vs. Grambling". Baton Rouge Advocate (sec. C, p. 16). September 2, 2006. 
  9. ^ A'Leaka Brown (September 5, 2016). "MEAC/SWAC Challenge Ruled a 'No Contest'". Retrieved April 24, 2017. 
  10. ^ Stu McCann (June 3, 2016). "City of Houston wants to be new home of SWAC headquarters". Retrieved April 24, 2017. 
  11. ^ /humans.txt. "2016 & 2017 MEAC/SWAC Challenge Matchups Announced - MEAC / SWAC | ESPN Events". Retrieved May 5, 2016. 
  12. ^ /humans.txt. "2 MEAC/SWAC Challenge Alumni Selected in 2016 NFL Draft - MEAC / SWAC | ESPN Events". Retrieved May 10, 2016. 
  13. ^ "MEAC/SWAC Challenge: History". 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2017. 
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External links[edit]