Game Will be Televised in High Definition for the First Time
ESPN2 will present the MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney, a college football matchup featuring South Carolina State University and Grambling State University on Sunday, Sept. 6, at 2 p.m. ET. The fifth annual event, which features teams from two prominent HBCU (Historically Black College/University) leagues, will be televised live on ESPN2 and ESPN360.com from Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando. This will be the first time the game will be offered in high definition on ESPN2 HD and on ESPN’s broadband digital sports television network. Charlie Neal will provide play-by-play commentary alongside analyst Jay Walker and reporter Melissa Knowles.
In addition to the game action, the telecast will also showcase each school’s marching band performances and a special halftime feature on the late Steve McNair, who played for the SWAC’s Alcorn State. Several auxiliary events, highlighted by the presentation of the Walter Payton Achievement Award and the Legends Reception, will take place leading up to the game.
South Carolina State and Grambling have previously met 14 times. The Grambling Tigers lead the series 10-4. However, the Bulldogs won the last meeting 31-27, in the 1994 Heritage Bowl. Each team has also participated in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge before this year’s scheduled appearance. South Carolina State played in the inaugural game in 2005 vs. Alabama State, and Grambling played in 2006 against Hampton.
Grambling finished the 2008 season with an 11-2 overall record and 10-0 in the SWAC. With high expectations in the SWAC, the 2009 Tigers boast a solid passing and ground attack directed by head coach Rob Broadway.
South Carolina State completed the 2008 season with a 10-3 record, 8-0 in conference play. This season, the Bulldogs hope to continue the winning tradition with head coach Oliver “Buddy” Pough.
About the MEAC/SWAC Challenge
Each year, the MEAC/SWAC Challenge is played at a neutral site within the footprint of one of the conferences. The inaugural MEAC/SWAC Challenge in 2005 showcased the MEAC’s South Carolina State vs. Alabama State of the SWAC, with South Carolina State prevailing, 27-14. In 2006, the contest went into overtime with the MEAC’s Hampton University defeating the SWAC’s Grambling State, 27-26. The SWAC earned its first MEAC/SWAC Challenge trophy in 2007 as Southern defeated Florida A&M, 33-27. Last year, the event moved from Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala., to Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium, where the MEAC reclaimed the MEAC/SWAC Challenge crown, as Hampton defeated Jackson State 17-13. The MEAC leads the series 3-1. Teams for future games are determined on an annual basis. The MEAC/SWAC Challenge is owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television.
For more information, please visit www.meacswacchallenge.com.