Alabama State’s Reggie Barlow appreciates history of SWAC title game

Alabama State coach Reggie Barlow, in a perspective that belies his age, knows just what the program’s upcoming berth means in the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s title match.

It’s a place where legends are made.

“Some great coaches have been in the SWAC Championship Game, from (Grambling legend) Doug Williams and (Alabama A&M) Coach (Anthony) Jones, (Jackson State coach Rick) Comegy, and (Prairie View A&M) Coach (Henry) Frazier,” Barlow said this morning, just days after clinching the 2010 Eastern Division title. “I am 37 years old, and here I am with the opportunity to grace the sidelines where those great coaches walked.”

[Alabama State believed in its SWAC title dream, even during an awful skid.]

Alabama State punched its ticket to Birmingham, Ala. and legendary Legion Field on Saturday, after the Hornets defeated Southern while East rival Alcorn State — which controlled its own destiny — came up short last weekend. Alabama State won the SWAC Championship Game in 2004, its most recent appearance. The Hornets also lost to Southern in 2003, and to Grambling in 2001.

“We’re happy for the whole ASU community,” said Barlow, a former Hornets standout. “They have been longing to have something to cheer about. We are just happy to be a part of it.”

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