As co-champions of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), the Aggies will represent the MEAC in the Inaugural Celebration Bowl, which showcases the traditions and values of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The Celebration Bowl will kick off the college football bowl season on ABC, airing Saturday, Dec. 19 in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Aggies will face the winner of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) championship game between Grambling State University and Alcorn State University on Dec. 5 in Houston.
The road to the national stage has not been an easy one. The Aggies have rebuilt their program from a devastating 1-10 season and losing 27 games in a row to losing just one game in MEAC play.
North Carolina Central handed the Aggies this devastating 21-16 loss at home, marking their first loss this season in MEAC play.
North Carolina A&T Athletics requested that fans wear all black to this game in an effort to “Black Out the Eagles” on senior day and the last game of regular season play. The hashtag #BlackOutTheEagles could be found on Twitter to show support for the Aggies.
As the words “make some noise” lit up the scoreboard and the blaring sound of screaming fans drowned out Aggie Stadium, Jordan Miles forced an Aggie fumble with just 4:11 remaining in the game, stopping the drive that could have possibly given the Aggies the edge over North Carolina Central.
Due to North Carolina A&T falling short in the Aggie-Eagle Classic, they now share a three-way MEAC Conference football title.
Fortunately for the Aggies, this loss will not stop them from representing the MEAC in the most important game of the year for an HBCU, the Inaugural Celebration Bowl.
“We are excited to participate in this Bowl. It is a wonderful opportunity for our students and coaches, and tremendous exposure for A&T and the MEAC. We hope to win every game we play in, but obviously the stakes feel a little higher here,” Earl Hilton, Athletic Director of A&T said. “A win in the Celebration Bowl would be a fantastic finish to a great season, and provide energy and excitement as we move into preparations for the 2016 football season.”
At the time of print, an emailed question to Hilton, asking who made the decision to request that Aggie fans wear black rather than the usual blue and gold during the game against the Eagles, had not been answered. Hilton also did not answer the question regarding who was responsible for the errant message on the scoreboard implying that A&T fans should “Make Some Noise,” while the Aggies were on offense just before a fumble occurred. Unfortunately, the Aggies loss to the Eagles may have occured due to circumstances beyond the players control.