2. What happens to the Florida Classic?
Bethune-Cookman and FAMU both joined the MEAC in 1979, and since then the Florida Classic has been the conference’s best-attended game year-in, and year-out. Other than a brief two-year period in the mid-1980s (which eventually led to FAMU leaving the conference for a few years) the game has been played every year and consistently draws better than 60k fans. The game has been played at the end of the season, which could change if both programs aren’t in the same conference.
The SWAC is all about classic games, even non-conference ones. Alabama State played Tuskegee in the Turkey Day Classic in late November for years before ‘Skegee decided it wanted to play in the D2 playoffs. Would the MEAC allow BCU to continue to play the game late in the year or try to force it to play an early-season non-conference game? We may soon find out.
1. What will FAMU’s deflection mean for the Celebration Bowl?
The biggest collaboration between the two Division I HBCU conferences — the MEAC and the SWAC — is undoubtedly the Celebration Bowl. For each of the past five years, the conference has sent its champion to the bowl game that is often billed by some as the HBCU national title game. The 2020 game is scheduled to be the final one on the original contract between the two conference’s and ESPN.
Since the game began, however, the MEAC has lost Savannah State and Hampton. North Carolina A&T is 4-0 in the bowl game, but is set to sail its final voyage as a member of the conference in 2020.
For years, a matchup featuring FAMU representing the MEAC against whoever the SWAC brings has been an idea that makes average fans of HBCU sports salivitate. But with FAMU set to jump ship, along with the current and previous deflections, is there a potential MEAC vs. SWAC matchup as compelling for a bowl game?