Bethune, Alcorn expected in MEAC-SWAC Challenge

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(STATS) - The MEAC-SWAC Challenge is one-sided in favor of the MEAC, but one of the SWAC's top programs may have the chance to decrease the conference's deficit this year.

The annual season-opening showcase between the two historically black conferences in the FCS - scheduled for Sept. 4 at the Florida Citrus Bowl in Orlando - is expected to be a highly attractive matchup between two-time defending SWAC champion Alcorn State and MEAC power Bethune-Cookman.

MEAC schools hold a 9-2 lead in the all-time series. South Carolina State's 35-7 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff in last year's game was the MEAC's fifth straight victory.

Alcorn State is coming off a 9-4 season and has a new coach in Fred McNair. Bethune-Cookman went 9-2 last year in its first season under Terry Sims.

This would be Alcorn State's first appearance in the MEAC-SWAC, although the Braves played in last year's inaugural, season-ending Celebration Bowl between the champions of the two conferences. They lost to North Carolina AT&T 41-34.

Bethune-Cookman won its two appearances in the MEAC-SWAC Challenge in 2011 and '12.

Disney and ESPN have yet to officially announce this year's matchup. Last year's teams were announced in mid-March.