Norfolk State and Florida A&M Set to Clash in 2024 MEAC/SWAC Challenge on ABC

The 2024 MEAC/SWAC Challenge, a highly anticipated college football matchup between Norfolk State and Florida A&M, is set to take place on August 24, nationally televised on ABC, with the potential to surpass 1 million viewers and showcase the talent and competitiveness of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) football. The game, part of ESPN's 12-game HBCU football lineup, marks a significant event in the college football season, with implications for the teams' reputations and the broader HBCU football landscape.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Norfolk State and Florida A&M Set to Clash in 2024 MEAC/SWAC Challenge on ABC

Norfolk State and Florida A&M Set to Clash in 2024 MEAC/SWAC Challenge on ABC

The stage is set for a thrilling showdown as Norfolk State and Florida A&M are slated to face off in the 2024 MEAC/SWAC Challenge on August 24. This highly anticipated matchup will be nationally televised on ABC, with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. as part of the Week 0 college football lineup.

The MEAC/SWAC Challenge, an annual event pitting teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and the Southwestern Athletic Conference against each other, has the potential to make history in 2024. With the game being one of the few on the schedule that Saturday and enjoying a national platform, the Norfolk State-Florida A&M clash could surpass the 1 million viewer threshold.

Last year's MEAC/SWAC Challenge between Jackson State and South Carolina State drew an impressive 922,000 viewers on ABC, securing the second spot in Week 0 viewership behind the Navy-Notre Dame matchup. Former South Carolina State coach Buddy Pough expressed his excitement about the opportunity, stating, "It's fun... We get a chance to play on ABC. We'll be one of the only schools playing. All the colleges in the HBCU will be watching. All the ingredients that you want are there. We should have a good viewership."

Norfolk State, a member of the MEAC, is in the midst of a rebuilding process but showed promise during the 2023 season, narrowly losing several games to top-tier opponents. On the other hand, Florida A&M, representing the SWAC, is coming off a historic season that saw them capture their first SWAC Championship and emerge victorious in the Celebration Bowl. However, the Rattlers face questions about sustaining their success after losing key starters to the NFL and bidding farewell to their longtime head coach.

The 2024 MEAC/SWAC Challenge is part of ESPN's announcement of 12 games that will be carried on its networks, including ABC, for the upcoming season. This showcase event not only provides a platform for the participating teams but also shines a spotlight on the talent and competitiveness within the HBCU football landscape.

As anticipation builds for the 2024 MEAC/SWAC Challenge, fans can mark their calendars for future matchups. The 2025 edition will feature North Carolina Central against Southern, while the 2026 game will showcase Howard and Alabama A&M. With the national exposure and the opportunity to make history in terms of viewership, the Norfolk State-Florida A&M showdown promises to be a must-watch event for college football enthusiasts across the country.

Key Takeaways

  • Norfolk State and Florida A&M to face off in 2024 MEAC/SWAC Challenge on August 24.
  • Game will be nationally televised on ABC at 7:30 p.m. as part of Week 0 college football.
  • Potential to surpass 1 million viewer threshold, building on last year's 922,000 viewers.
  • Norfolk State rebuilding, while Florida A&M looks to sustain success after historic season.
  • 2024 MEAC/SWAC Challenge part of ESPN's 12-game HBCU football lineup for the season.