If you follow and like watching black college football and you have cable TV or internet access, then you’re in luck in 2016. That’s because there are more games to watch on TV (on cable and over the air) or being streamed over the internet this season – nearly 50 – than in any previous season. Take for instance the opening week’s games beginning next Thursday, Sept. 1.
Starting with the Jackson State at UNLV contest over the Mountain West Sports Network at 10 p.m. in Las Vegas, 11 games will be available thru various broadcast outlets thru the weekend ending on Sunday, Sept. 4. Those games include a number of black college FCS vs. FBS match ups to open the season including Friday’s Mississippi Valley State at Easterm Michigan game and Saturday’s match ups of Savannah State vs. Georgia Southern, preseason BCSP No. 7 South Carolina State vs. Central Florida and BCSP No. 8 Southern vs. Louisiana-Monroe, all streamed over ESPN3.
The highlight of the kickoff weekend could be Sunday’s SWAC/MEAC Challenge pitting two-time defending SWAC champion and BCSP No. 4 Alcorn State vs. defending MEAC co-champion and BCSP No. 3 Bethune-Cookman Sunday on ESPN at 1 p.m. This game should be a doozy and a good indication of just how strong these teams will be this season. A week later on Saturday, Sept. 10, another seven games hit the airwaves. They include big showdowns on the road for BCSP No. 1 North Carolina Central and BCSP No. 5 North Carolina A&T. NCCU plays at Western Michigan while A&T is at Kent State. Both games will be streamed on ESPN3.
The week also includes SWAC and black college national championship contenders having tough dates on the road at major FBS powers. BCSP No. 6 Grambling State travels to face Arizona on the Pac-12 Network and BCSP No. 2 Prairie View A&M goes up against Texas A&M on the SEC Network. Also on Sept. 10 on ESPN3, Southern plays at Tulane and Alabama State plays at Alcorn State in an early season SWAC East Division tussle.
South Carolina State takes on powerful ACC champion, Orange Bowl winner, FBS runner-up and 2016 AP No. 2 Clemson on Sept. 17 on ESPN 3. A&T continues a run of five straight broadcasts of its game on the 17th in a date at Tulsa to be carried on ESPN3. The Aggies then have three 7:30 p.m. Thursday night games on ESPNU at home vs. Hampton on Sept. 29 and at home vs. Norfolk State on Oct. 6 before hitting the road for a date at Bethune-Cookmn on Oct. 13. The CIAA gets into the act with televised games in back-to-back weeks of Oct. 15 and Oct. 22.
Virginia State plays at Bowie State’s homecoming on the 15th to be carried on the ASPiRE Network. The following week, Bowie State travels to Virginia Union for a game streamed on ESPN3. ESPN3 will also stream the Circle City Classic with Central State taking on Kentucky State on Sept. 24 and the Magic City Classic’s Alabama A&M vs. Alabama State match up at Birmingham’s Legion Field on Oct. 29. ASPiRE will air the Morehouse-Tuskegee Classic from Columbus, Ga. on Oct. 8 and the Fountain City Classic pitting Fort Valley State against Albany State in Columbus on Nov. 5.
The Florida Classic, Bethune-Cookman vs. Florida A&M, airs on ESPN Classic on Nov. 19 and the NBC Sports Network has the Bayou Classic of Grambling State vs. Southern on Nov. 26. The CIAA (2 p.m.) and SIAC (6 p.m.) championship games will be carried by ASPiRE on Nov. 12. The SWAC championship game is set for Dec. 3 on ESPNU. The season wraps with the 2nd Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl on ABC pitting SWAC and MEAC champions on Dec. 17.