by Kelly Lewis
Lying at the heart of football players and fans is the traditional rival game. Life-long ties and investment in the culture of NCAA program is often exemplified during this triumph time. The increased media, engaged campus community, and united or divided families are a few characteristics of the game day experience. While the University of Michigan vs The Ohio State University is considered the biggest rivalry in collegiate football history, the rivalries at HBCUs are ones not to be forgotten. These games represent more than football. They represent an additional reason to boast about being the best in all areas (sports, academics, culture, and the band). This week’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up features five HBCU football rival games.
1) The Bayou Classic (Grambling State University vs Southern University and A&M College)—New Orleans, LA
This annual game is one of the nation’s greatest college sport rivalries. The competition has been fueled by Grambling’s and Southern’s Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) dominance. Each November, the teams’ sports fans congregate in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA to cheer on their respective teams. In addition to the exciting game, a parade, battle of the bands, and a National Pan-Hellenic Council step show. Be sure to catch the game on Saturday, November 25, 2017 at 4:00PM.
2) The Labor Day Classic (Texas Southern University vs Prairie View A&M)—Houston, TX
The Texas Southern Tigers and Prairie View Panthers rivalry extends beyond the playing field. Since 1956, the cheerleaders have also been a part of the rivalry. The game usually lands during Labor Day; however, the game has been postponed due to Hurricane Harvey. Catch the Texas Southern University vs Prairie View football game on Saturday, November 25, 2017 at 6:00PM.
3) The Florida Classic (FAMU vs Bethune Cookman)—Orlando, FL
Although the rivalry has existed since 1925, the Florida Classic became official in 1978. Today, the game is considered the largest football game between two HBCUs. This year, the Florida Classic weekend will kick off with a comedy show from the acclaimed comedian and actor Cedric the Entertainer. After the comedian, there will be performances by the crowd-pleasing drum line, energetic dance team, and high stepping drum majors. Catch the 38th rivalry game between historic rivals Florida A&M and Bethune Cookman University on Saturday, November 18th at 2:00PM.
4) The Eagles/Aggies Classic (North Carolina A&T vs North Carolina Central)—Greensboro, NC
The North Carolina A&T and North Carolina Central rivalry is driven by the proximity of these two schools. The schools are roughly 55 miles apart and separated by interstate 85. The short distance between the two has each university competing for the students and athletes of high caliber. While the rivalry dates back to the early 1920s, the intensity of the rivalry has failed to die out. The North Carolina Central Eagles will play the North Carolina A&T Aggies at the O’Kelly–Riddick Stadium on November 18th at 1:00PM.
5) The Battle of the Real HU (Hampton University vs Howard University)—Hampton, VA
First meeting in 1908, Hampton Institute (now known as Hampton University) played against Howard University. Since then, these teams have battled it out 93 times; while currently Hampton universities leads in the category of all time leads, largest victory, and longest win streaks. The series was originally played in Washington, D.C. as the National Football Classic until 2016. Though the classic format has come and gone, the passion amongst alumni and current students still runs strong. While the battle of who exactly is the real HU is in the eyes of the students and fans of these institutions, this game is bound to be nothing short of exciting. If you’re in the area, grab a ticket and catch the game on November 18th at 1:00PM.
Do you know any other HBCU Rivalry Games during the Month of November? Share in the comments below!