The Southwestern Athletic Conference will eliminate its annual football championship game following the 2017 season.
The 2017 championship game will be played on December 2 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. The SWAC champion will earn an invitation to play in the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on December 16.
Beginning in 2018, the winner of the SWAC's regular-season title will now go directly to the Celebration Bowl and play against the winner of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl was created in 2015.
“With the creation of the Celebration Bowl as a national showcase for HBCU football, the Council of Presidents and Chancellors decided to suspend the championship game format after the 2017 season,” said SWAC Commissioner Duer Sharp. “By focusing on the Celebration Bowl, we can continue to grow the AFRCB as an HBCU classic for the teams and fans of both conferences and for HBCU football nationally.”
The SWAC championship game has been played since 1999. The conference said it will work with SWAC members to develop a tie-breaker procedure and deal with schedule changes that might arise from the new format.
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