Labor Day Weekend is always one of the most exciting times of the year as college football kicks off, and this year’s opening weekend slate is full of exciting matchups.
Saturday September 3rd, the Aggies of North Carolina A&T take on the Eagles of North Carolina Central. This game is one of the fiercest rivalries in HBCU football as the two teams are only separated by 51 miles on the I85/I40 corridor. This year’s game is in Charlotte and should bring a lot of energy to the city.
The Aggies have won seven out of the last ten matchups versus their rivals and the last three matchups haven’t been close. A&T has beaten Central 45-0, 54-0, and 37-14 in their last contests. A&T head coach Sam Washington At the Big South Conference Media Day, A&T head coach Sam Washington said his team will be ready and they are treating it as just another game. Media day attendees Cesar Minarro and Jacob Roberts, both from Charlotte, stated that they are looking forward to playing in this rivalry in their hometown and are excited about playing at Bank of America Stadium.
Elements of the rivalry have changed in recent years. In the past, this would be a conference game in the MEAC, however, A&T left the MEAC to join the Big South Conference and now will be heading to the Colonial Athletic Conference in 2023. In the constantly evolving landscape of College Football, the changes at the top of the sport trickle down to the FCS level.
What will this move do to the rivalry? For now, it seems like the rivalry between these two schools will stay the same, as they have a 10-year commitment to face each other on the football field which features another showdown in Charlotte in 2027.
Central is also trying to determine how to navigate the changing landscape of college athletics. Central Athletic Director Skip Perkins stated that Central “is married to the MEAC for now,” but also acknowledged “I think you must think…you have to be thinking – what could happen tomorrow, or what could happen a year from now. So, I think being prepared and elevating your brand is important.”
While both schools have a lot to consider about their futures, for now, they’re both preparing for September 3rd as the athletes, bands, and fans make their way to Charlotte to compete on the field and celebrate black excellence.