The Southwestern Athletic Conference, which is made up of HBCU schools at the FCS level such as Alabama A&M, Grambling State, Southern University, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and Alcorn State among others, announced today that they will no longer be holding a conference championship game, starting after the 2017.
In their release, the conference stated their intent to shift focus to the new Celebration Bowl as the national showcase for HBCU football.
From the SWAC release.
“With the creation of the Celebration Bowl as a national showcase for HBCU football, the Council of Presidents and Chancellors decided to suspend the championship game format after the 2017 season,” said Commissioner Duer Sharp. “By focusing on the Celebration Bowl, we can continue to grow the AFRCB as an HBCU classic for the teams and fans of both conferences and for HBCU football nationally.”
The Celebration Bowl was established in 2015, and pits the conference champs from the SWAC against the winners of the MEAC. Starting with the 2018 season, the SWAC team with the best regular season conference record will be named conference champs and will appear in the Celebration Bowl.
The SWAC conference title game had been a mainstay of the league dating back to 1999 and started in Birmingham, AL before moving to Houston the past three seasons.