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 Alabama A&M Bulldogs and the Howard Bison.
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 Alabama A&M and Howard 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 – Howard vs. Alabama A&M