Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff games set for 2025, 2026 seasons

By Kevin Kelley -

Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff games have been set for the 2025 and 2026 seasons, according to the official website of the annual contest.

The 2025 Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff will feature the Southern Jaguars taking on the North Carolina Central Eagles, while the 2026 contest will feature a matchup between the South Carolina State Bulldogs and the Alabama State Hornets.

MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff contests are held annually during Week Zero at Center Parc Stadium in Atlanta, Ga. Barring any future changes, Southern and North Carolina Central will meet on Saturday, Aug. 23, 2025, with South Carolina State and Alabama State playing the following season on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2026.

The 2023 Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff, which was previously announced, features the Jackson State Tigers facing the South Carolina State Bulldogs on Saturday, Aug. 26. In 2024, the Norfolk State Spartans and the Florida A&M Rattlers will square off on Saturday, Aug. 24.

Back in May 2021, ESPN Events announced a new six-year agreement with the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). The agreement extended both the Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff and the Cricket Celebration Bowl.

Future Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff Games

  • 2023 – Jackson State vs. SC State
  • 2024 – Norfolk State vs. Florida A&M
  • 2025 – Southern vs. NC Central
  • 2026 – SC State vs. Alabama State

Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff Website Screenshot (Jan. 25, 2023)

College Football Neutral Site Games

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Comments (5)

All conferences should do something like this! Although you do not need to pick the teams 2 and 3 years in advance.

I agree in Principle, Tom.

The horrible Trust Five Conference $$$$$ Truth is, that since 2005 when the 12th Game VS a 1AA Team was lobbied 4 / agreed 2 / passed by the legally flawed / compromised N ational C ollegiate A thletic A ssociation side kicks to the 65 Trust Conference Teams; interconference season opening Games are hardly ever scheduled @ the 1A Level.

A meaningless $$$$$ Game VS a 63 scholarship Visitor qualifies your mediocre Team for an Exhibition Game @ 6 Wins…

Now I watch the F Championship Series Playoffs for meaningful Games; from Thanksgiving Weekend through the third Weekend in December. Then the Championship Game on the 1st Weekend of January.