The Cricket MEAC/SWAC challenge will air on ESPN on August 27th 2022 and will feature a pre-game musical performance by Alabama State Alum “2 Chainz”. Howard University will be making its first appearance in the game and will be looking to improve on an 11-4 record the MEAC currently enjoys over the SWAC. At the press conference Coach Larry Scott talked about the pride the Bison’s take in representing their conference, the ways they are looking to improve upon last years’ poor record, their highly ranked recruiting class, and his “consistent” approach to coaching. The Bison’s stellar class was headlined by RB Eden James, son of former Colts great Edgerrin James, who fans would love to see in the opening game of the season. Coach Scott was asked about the gesture made this past weekend by legendary music mogul P. Diddy who used his “time in the spotlight” to highlight two HBCU programs (Howard University and Jackson State University) and donated one million dollars to each program. Coach Scott responded by saying, “Whatever stage you have an opportunity to stand upon you should represent what you feel means something to you that gives you a chance to make an impact. … So whatever stage that is, whether it’s P. Diddy receiving a lifetime achievement award as an entertainer or rather you’re a physician or a lawyer or a football coach, at the end of the day you have a platform and whatever that platform (is) please (use it to) speak to your legacy, please speak to the impact that you want to leave on the Earth. … It just so happens that we are living in a time where HBCUs are at the focal point of that, so why not, … take this stage right now at this critical time in our country’s history to make that impact to leave that legacy for yourself … and speak loudly and boldly everyday. I think it’s awesome, I think we all need to continue to do that …”
Alabama State is winless in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge, losing in the inaugural game to South Carolina State 27-14 in front of 18,452 fans, and losing again in 2012, 38-28 to Bethune-Cookman. Coach Eddie Robinson, Jr. will look to change that and snap the MEAC’s current 2 game winning streak. At the press conference Coach Robinson talked about his four quarter approach to the off-season, the pride of the SWAC as the preeminent conference in HBCU football, improvement in the turnover game, and the importance of focusing on Howard first and foremost, despite having quote “a great 2022 schedule”. The Hornets were able to acquire former 4-star Auburn QB Dematrius Davis via the transfer portal, and though Coach Robinson is non-committal on starting the highly touted QB at this time. Hornets fans are looking forward to seeing if the young stud QB can improve on one of the worst passing attacks, statistically, in the SWAC last season. When asked about the QB battle Coach Robinson had this to say, “We have Myles Crawley, who’s a returning guy from Atlanta, also Dematrius Davis who’s a transfer and we have Nyqua Lett who’s a freshman. So those three guys are going to compete through the summer and through the fall and the best is going to play”. Coach Robinson also stated that he feels it’s Alabama State‘s responsibility to “restore order” , stating that “the SWAC is the preeminent HBCU conference in the nation”, which receive cheers from the non-media portion of the crowd in attendance. In our one on one interview with Coach Robinson he expounded on why he believes the SWAC is the preeminent HBCU football conference.
Both coaches also talked about starting and ending their seasons in Atlanta, with their eyes set on the Celebration Bowl in December. This feat has not been accomplished in the 6 year history of the existence of both games. If these coaches have their way, we are witnessing the beginning of a historical story.