2023 Football

SIAC plants its flag in Atlanta with football title game

The SIAC is bringing its football championship to Atlanta. We talked to the league’s commissioner to find out why it is important to plant its flag there.

SIAC Commissioner Dr. Anthony Holloman talked at the league’s football media day in Atlanta about pushing the league forward. The league announced on Friday that the SIAC football championship game is headed to Atlanta. 

The title game is set for Nov. 11 and will be held at Lakewood Stadium at 70 Claire Drive SW, Atlanta.

Holloman told HBCU Gameday he’s excited for the conference title game to be held in the league’s backyard after being held on campuses over the last half-decade.

“This is the headquarters of the SIAC. Certainly, we have Morehouse and Clark Atlanta in the city, but we have seven of our institutions will be a three-hour drive in Atlanta,” he said. “Atlanta is very important to us. I’m excited that the city of Atlanta will partner with us on this venture. And we look forward to playing different sports and championships in the city.”

Holloman also revealed the league’s women’s volleyball championships will be held in the city as well the same weekend.

“The SIAC is coming to Atlanta to take over,” he said.

Holloman says creating competitive balance and excitement around the league’s marquee game is one of the things he was determined to do upon assuming the position last September. One of the first steps to making that happen occurred following the 2022 season when the league did away with divisions. 

SIAC Commissioner Dr. Anthony Holloman

“I think for several years we have had a championship game and not necessarily had our best two teams,” Holloman said. “And then when you play a game and you don’t know where the location is to the week before the game, it is hard to generate any buzz, sell tickets or have any activities planned that enhance the student-athlete experience. So we think there will be added value and it will generate some excitement. So it’s a championship game of the SIAC and not a game —  another game — between two teams.”

Holloman stated at media day that his hope was to get more of the league’s teams into the NCAA Division II playoffs. But the league also recently announced it will partner with the CIAA for the Beach Bowl, a bowl game for teams that win at least six games but don’t make the NCAA playoffs. 

“We believe that given the opportunity where we did not have to make a commitment to have our champions opt out of the playoffs, that this was a good opportunity for us to engage with the group putting the game on and see whether this is something that will be sustainable,” Holloman said. “We obviously are excited because it’ll be December 13th, the week of the D2 championship game before the Celebration Bowl. We’ll pit schools that have had great seasons, but not made it to the NCAA playoffs.” 

Holloman indicated that more changes are on the horizon for the league as it continues to work in conjunction with other HBCU conferences as well as a newly announced official alliance with the ACC. He sees it as a way to not only improve the officiating in the SIAC, but also create a pipeline for referees to advance their careers.

“I think this gives us a great opportunity to leverage on the resources that are out there. And it also creates a pipeline for people who work in the SIAC to take it to the next level,” Holloman said. “And so I want to retain the best officials I can, but I also want to provide a platform so they don’t leave me to go to another D2 league. Stay with me, cause it’ll benefit your career.”

SIAC plants its flag in Atlanta with football title game
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