Fortunately, the Southwestern Athletic Conference has been able to stay intact but the question is just how long will the conference be able to ignore what is the new trend in college athletics.
The decision to hold multiple championship games in Houston, Texas was a move in the right direction for the conference but there are still underlining issues that must be addressed.
Fans, alumni and supports of all conference institutions have expressed their displeasure with certain television matchups, and a lack of participation in the FCS playoffs.
While others question just how meaningful is the current football championship with a format that determines a champion well before the game.
Current players and coaches alike have also expressed just how important playing for something greater is to them all. “I wish the SWAC would follow and allow SWAC schools to go to the playoffs if selected,” said Alabama State head football coach Reggie Barlow to me in a previous conversation. “Several of these student athletes want to play for a National Championship.”
The will to compete along with the ability to showcase their institutional brands on a grander stage is something the “powers that be” within the SWAC must not turn a death ear on.
The completion of Alabama State’s new Hornet Stadium and Jackson State’s current plans to build a state-of- art athletic dome may be the first steps those institutions need in order to leave their conference affiliations in the past, which may cause a domino effect that can shake the foundation of the conference to its knees.
On Tuesday’s segment of Talking Sports Live, Rob Jay expressed his concerns with the state of the SWAC conference as a whole; while Jackson State great Willie Richardson made it very clear that the MEAC conference has even surpassed the SWAC in multiple areas.
Traditions can’t be the only thing the SWAC has to sustain itself because just like any business it must be able to change with the times in order to remain relevant.
The Southwestern Athletic Conference, considered the premiere HBCU conference and tops in FCS football attendance, has so much to offer. But it remains to be seen if the conference can awaken from its own resistance to change.