HBCU Classics Football Schedule 2018

Last Updated on May 27, 2023

Grambling State's Orchesis Dancers and Marching Tiger Band take the field during the 2017 HBCU Classic Season in New Orleans, LA.
Photo credit: Bayou Classic (2017)

Since 1919, HBCUs across the country have gone head to head in football games that feature the amazing talent of their athletes, marching bands, and dance lines. The pride, history, and timeless traditions that make each HBCU Classic unique draw thousands of football fans to college stadiums every year.

What is a HBCU Classic?

Every year, HBCU football teams compete against each other in an annual football game that is known as a classic. Unlike a bowl game, an HBCU Classic takes place during the regular season at a neutral site. HBCU Classics are not just about football: marching bands and auxiliary dance lines from both schools usually compete in a Battle of the Bands. Fans can attend concerts, parades, and parties before and after the football game.

HBCU Classics Fun Facts: Did you know…

  • The Battle Of The Real HU is the only HBCU classic that had two teams with the same name! The annual football game between Howard University (H.U.) and Hampton University (H.U.) draws students, faculty, and football fans from across the country.
  • The MEAC/SWAC Challenge pits one team from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference against another team from the Southwestern Athletic Conference. This HBCU Classic has humongous crowds: in 2007, over 30,000 people watched the game between Southern University and Florida A&M University in Birmingham!
  • The Bayou Classic is the most famous HBCU Classic of all time! NBC televised the Thanksgiving football game from 1991 to 2014, and football fans across the country can watch this year’s Bayou Classic on the NBC Sports Network.

Are you interested in attending an HBCU classic this fall? Take a look at the list below to find an HBCU Classic near you!

Jake Gaither Classic

Location: Bragg Memorial Stadium, Tallahassee, FL
Matchup: Florida A&M vs. Fort Valley State
Date & Time: Sep 1, 2018 | 6 PM

John Merritt Classic

Location: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN
Matchup: Bethune-Cookman vs. Tennessee State
Date & Time: Sep 1, 2018 | 6 PM

Bluff City Kick-Off Classic

Location: Halle Stadium, Memphis, TN
Matchup: Lincoln University of Missouri vs. Lane College
Date & Time: Sep 1, 2018 | 4 PM

Union Bank & Trust Labor Day Classic

Location: William “Dick” Price Stadium, Norfolk, VA
Matchup: Virginia State vs. Norfok State
Date & Time: Sept 1, 2018 | 6 PM

MEAC/SWAC Challenge

Location: Georgia State Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Matchup: Prairie View A&M and North Carolina Central
Date & Time: Sept 2, 2018 | 12 PM

Willard Bailey Classic

Location: Bowman Gray Stadium, Richmond, VA
Matchup: Virginia Union vs. Carson-Newman University
Date & Time: September 8, 2018 | 1 PM

Southern Heritage Classic

Location: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, TN
Matchup: Jackson State vs. Tennessee State
Date & Time: September 8, 2018 | 6 PM

Whitewater Classic

Location: Garrett-Harrison Stadium, Albany, GA
Matchup: Tuskegee vs. Albany State
Date & Time: September 8, 2018 | 4 PM

Pete Richardson Classic

Location:A.W. Mumford Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA
Matchup:Southern vs. Langston
Date & Time: September 15, 2018 | 6 PM

Down East Classic

Location: Rocky Mount Athletic Complex, Rocky Mount, NC
Matchup: Elizabeth City State vs. Winston-Salem State
Date & Time: September 15, 2018 | 4 PM

Winston-Salem Classic

Location: Bowman Gray Stadium, Winston-Salem, NC
Matchup: Winston-Salem State vs. Virginia Union
Date & Time: September 22, 2018 | 6 PM

West End Classic

Location: Alumni Memorial Football Stadium, Salisbury, NC
Matchup:Livingstone College vs. Lincoln University
Date & Time: September 22, 2018 | 1 PM

Chicago Football Classic

Location: Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
Matchup: Miles College vs. Morehouse College
Date & Time: September 22, 2018 | 3:30 PM

Gulf Coast Challenge

Location:Ladd Peebles Stadium, Mobile, AL
Matchup: Southern vs. Alabama A&M University
Date & Time: September 22, 2018 | 4 PM

Circle City Classic

Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Matchup: Howard vs. Bethune-Cookman
Date & Time: September 22, 2018 | 4:30 PM

State Fair Classic

Location: The Cotton Bowl, Dallas, TX
Matchup: Grambling State vs. Prairie View A&M
Date & Time: September 29, 2018 | 4 PM

W.C. Gorden Classic

Location:M, ississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium, Jackson, MS
Matchup:Alabama A&M vs. Jackson State
Date & Time: September 29, 2018 | 4 PM

Tuskegee-Morehouse Classic

Location: A. J. McClung Memorial Stadium, Columbus, GA
Matchup: Morehouse vs. Tuskegee
Date & Time: October 6, 2018 | 1 PM

Magic City Classic

Location: Legion Field, Birmingham, AL
Matchup: Alabama A&M vs. Alabama State
Date & Time: October 27, 2018 | 2:30 PM

Commemorative Classic

Location: Irwin Belk Complex, Charlotte, NC
Matchup: Livingstone vs. Johnson C. Smith
Date & Time: November 3, 2018 | 1 PM

Fountain City Classic

Location: A.J. McClung Memorial Stadium, Columbus, GA
Matchup: Fort Valley State vs. Albany State
Date & Time: November 3, 2018 | 2 PM

Raleigh Classic

Location: George Williams Athletic Complex, Durham, NC
Matchup: Shaw vs. Saint Augustine’s
Date & Time: November 3, 2018 | 1 PM

Florida Classic

Location: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL
Matchup: Florida A&M vs. Bethune-Cookman
Date & Time: November 17, 2018 | 2 PM

Turkey Day Classic

Location: Hornet Stadium, Montgomery, AL
Matchup: Mississippi Valley State vs. Alabama State
Date & Time: November 22, 2018 | 2 PM

Bayou Classic

Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Matchup: Grambling vs. Southern
Date & Time: November 24, 2018 | 4 PM

Celebration Bowl

Location: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
Matchup: MEAC Conf. Champion vs. SWAC Conf. Champion
Date & Time: Dec 15, 2018 | 12 PM

That completes our 2018 HBCU Classics football schedule. If you have an HBCU Classic you would like to see added to this list or have feedback, message us on our contact form.

We hope to see you this fall at one of these HBCU events.

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