Network announced for 2009 MEAC-SWAC Challenge

ESPN announced today that the fifth annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge featuring Grambling and South Carolina State will air on ESPN2 on Sunday, Sept. 6, at 1 p.m.

The game will also be offered for the first time in high definition and on ESPN’s broadband digital sports television network. The yearly event, which features teams from two prominent historically black college and university leagues, will return to Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando, Fla.

South Carolina State and Grambling have previously met 14 times. The Grambling Tigers lead the series 10-4, though the Bulldogs won the last meeting 31-27 in the 1994 Heritage Bowl.

Both teams have 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 in 2006 against Hampton.

Each year, the game 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. For more information about the MEAC-SWAC Challenge and for access to its Facebook page, please visit


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