BIRMINGHAM â€“ The Saturday, Oct. 18 game between Southern and Florida A&M will be televised live by ESPNU at 6 pm (CT), the network announced today.
The game was originally scheduled to air on a tape-delay basis on ESPNU at 9:30 p.m. next Saturday night, but now will be shown live on the network from Southernâ€™s A.W. Mumford Stadium in Baton Rouge.
This will be the second consecutive year this matchup will be nationally televised. The two teams played in the 3rd annual MEAC-SWAC Challenge in Birmingham in the 2007 season opener, won by Southern, 33-27 and televised live on ESPN2.
This matchup of SWAC and MEAC teams has been one of the best and longest-running non-conference series in Black College Football. Florida A&M leads the matchup, which began in 1941, 33-25, with a scoreless tie in 1950. For 56 consecutive seasons from 1946-2001, these two legendary programs competed against each other every year, including twice in 1995.
That season, Southern defeated the Rattlers twice in Atlantaâ€™s Georgia Dome in a pair of epic battles. Southern downed the Rattlers, 52-38 in early November. The two teams met again in the Heritage Bowl on December 29, with the Jaguars again defeating Florida A&M 30-25 to win the Black College National Championship.
After a five-year hiatus, the teams renewed their rivalry in 2007 in front of over 30,000 fans at legendary Legion Field. Southern scored on a 90-yard touchdown run on their first offensive play of the season, setting the stage for a spirited contest featuring big plays by both teams.
Some of college footballâ€™s coaching greats have been a part of this series, from Florida A&Mâ€™s Jake Gaither, Rudy Hubbard, and Billy Joe, to Southernâ€™s A.W. Mumford, Marino Casem and Pete Richardson.
And not to mention the star players of the gridiron â€“ from the Rattlersâ€™ Bob Hayes, Ken Riley, and Earl Holmes to the Jaguarsâ€™ Harold Carmichael, Rufus Porter, and Aeneas Williams â€“ all of whom have played in this historic series.
Next Saturday, Oct. 18, in Southernâ€™s on-campus stadium named after Mumford, the 60th chapter in this storied rivalry will be written in front of a live nationwide audience.