With the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship game approaching Saturday, spirits on Florida A&M University’s campus are at an all-time high. The winner of Saturday’s game will face Howard University, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion, in Atlanta for the Celebration Bowl.
FAMU’s community stands united in the belief that their team will take home the SWAC Championship title. Many have bought tickets, booked flights and made living arrangements for the Atlanta game despite needing a victory in Saturday’s game.
Much of their confidence is backed with this season’s performance records.
FAMU football holds a 10-1 overall record with an 8-0 conference record. It is currently the top-ranked team in the SWAC and No. 5 in the nation according to the AFCA Coaches Poll.
Prairie View A&M University, on the other hand, has a 6-5 overall record with a 6-2 conference record. Against FAMU earlier this season, they were on the short end of a 45-7 rout.
FAMU’s ranking and home advantage against PVAMU does not guarantee its participation in the Celebration Bowl, however. The final spot in the Celebration Bowl depends entirely on the outcome of Saturday’s SWAC championship game.
To students, alumni and the Tallahassee community, the outcome of Saturday’s game is clear. As a result, many are well prepared for the events of Celebration Bowl weekend.
Two esteemed marketing agencies in Tallahassee unveiled separate week lineups promoting the “FAMU vs. Howard” narrative shortly after Thanksgiving.
Dream Marketing Group released its lineup via Instagram on Nov. 25. Their caption states,
“The Official FAMU x Howard Young Alumni Celebration Bowl lineup is here. @dreammarketinggroup has partnered with FAMU and Howard’s leaders in nightlife experience for the biggest HBCU celebration of the year.”
The following day, Winner’s Circle Entertainment released a week of events partnered with the HBCU Tour.
“The top event planners in the nation have come together with the HBCU tour to deliver the Celebration Bowl and HBCU Xperience weekend featuring Howard x FAMU,” as stated on their Nov. 26 Instagram post.
The week of events are scheduled from Dec. 15-17 in Atlanta. Such a timeline has encouraged students to plan well in advance of the SWAC championship game.
Victoria Maynard is a senior general health science major with a military science minor from Raleigh, N.C. Maynard is among several students who’ve already prepared to attend the Celebration Bowl. She’s secured both game and plane tickets and has also outlined a weekend itinerary with friends.
“FAMU is going regardless. We’re the rawest team out … I’m going to attend the Celebration Bowl regardless because I personally love Atlanta, I need a vacation, and I would love to experience the presence of other HBCUs … I’ll still be rocking my FAMU gear though,” Maynard said.
Like Maynard, Elijah Townsend-Avella does not doubt that FAMU will secure its spot in the Celebration Bowl on Saturday afternoon.
Avella is a senior broadcast journalism major from Philadelphia. He currently resides in Atlanta and serves as the historian for FAMU’s Atlanta club.
The club plans to team up with the Atlanta alumni chapter to plan a weekend of events and game-day tailgate following Saturday’s game.
“We are playing PVAMU which is a team we beat in convincing fashion this season so I’m sure we can do it again. I have full confidence in our team … we’re dominating all the teams we play so this Saturday isn’t anything different,” Avella said.
FAMU students have unwavering confidence in their team’s ability to claim a win on Saturday afternoon.
Raven Black, a senior nursing student from West Palm Beach, had very convincing words for the Prairie View and Howard communities.
“The only words I have are watch out. FAMU isn’t coming to play games, we’re coming to win,” Black said.
The highly anticipated FAMU vs PVAMU SWAC Championship game is set for Saturday at 4 p.m. in Bragg Memorial Stadium. The winner will advance to play Howard University in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Dec. 16.