The HBCU football landscape has long been rife with highly anticipated matchups that carry intrigue and historical significance.
Tennessee State head Coach Eddie George thinks there is room for one more in that pantheon of great HBCU matchups.
hen asked on a recent Ohio Valley Conference football media call if he was open to facing Texas Southern in a “Battle of TSU” Coach George had this to say:
Absolutely. I, I think we’ve talked about that. It’s just a matter of us figuring out what makes sense for both schools and how that looks. Now in this day and age with so much changing between conferences and alliances, you know, that could happen sooner than later, but that probably won’t happen not until 25, 26. So that could be a possibility.
Considering the uncertainty of the future of the Southern Heritage Classic and the conference that Tennessee State currently inhabits, the Ohio Valley adding Texas Southern as a replacement or would-be something the Tennessee State fanbase will get behind. Since Tennessee State left the ranks of the independents and joined the OVC in 1988, fans have been subjected to a schedule that is chock full of teams to which the fanbase has no emotional connection. This bore itself out in the stark contrast in attendance this season. The games with HBCU opponents averaged 28,378 fans; the games versus Historically white colleges were only able to draw 8,308 on average.
The coach of Texas Southern, Clarence McKinney would be on board with this matchup becoming a reality. When asked about it on a recent media conference he had this to say:
Hey, I’m all for it. You know, if it’s something that’s gonna bring a lot of people out to the games and give to HBCUs an opportunity to get some exposure, I say, let’s do it now.
The two schools met with a degree of regularity from the 1950s through the early 1980s, with the last matchup occurring November 21, 1998, a game in which Tennessee State was victorious 28-14.