Southern University will play on ESPN affiliates three times as part of a 13-game schedule of Southwest Conference Athletic Association games in 2019 announced by the network and the conference.
The reigning West Division champion Jaguars will play all three games on ESPN3 beginning with a game at Arkansas-Pine Bluff Sept. 28 at 6 p.m. Prairie View A&M at Southern at 6 p.m. Oct. 12 and Alabama A&M at Southern on Nov. 2 at 4 p.m. are the other games set to be televised.
“No question about it, the exposure you get playing on TV is priceless,” Southern athletic director Roman Banks said. “The athletic department is a great recruiting tool for the university. We’re thrilled to be on TV to give our university that exposure.
“We had an exceptional year last year and that put Southern University on people’s minds. They know we have a re-energized fan base like the old days. And we’re able to market ourselves even more.”
The ESPN schedule begins with the Labor Day Classic between Prairie View and Texas Southern at Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium Aug. 21 at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN3. It concludes with the SWAC Championship Game Dec. 7 at 3 p.m. on ESPU at the site of the highest seeded division champion.
“When we began scheduling the upcoming lineup of ESPN games we sought matchups that would give viewers and the average fan that may not attend our games a strong representation of our brand of football,” SWAC commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland said.
“This upcoming slate of games highlights several annual classics, traditional conference rivals and matchups that feature teams that played highly competitive games last season, while also providing viewers a unique look at the excitement and pageantry found on display any given day at a SWAC football game.”
One game that won’t be televised is the Southern at Alcorn State rematch from last season’s SWAC Championship Game on Oct. 26. That day, ESPN3 will televise Alabama A&M at Alabama State at 2:30 p.m.
“It would have been a good one,” Banks said. “But Alabama A&M at Alabama State is a huge game for that state aand those schools.”
ABC will televise the Celebration Bowl at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta Dec. 21 at 11 a.m. CT.
“Overall, the relationship we have with ESPN along with this 2019 lineup of games provides our league with national exposure, marketing, brand recognition, and visibility that will be on par with many of the football conference at the FBS level,” McClelland said.
The complete schedule is as follows:
Aug. 31 Prairie View vs. Texas Southern in Houston, 5:30 p.m., ESPN3
Sept. 1 Bethune-Cookman vs. Jackson State, 2 p.m., ESPN2
Sept. 21 Prairie View at Alcorn State, 5 p.m., ESPN3
Sept. 28 Southern at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 6 p.m., ESPN3
Oct. 5 Grambling at Jackson State, 6 p.m., ESPN3
Oct. 12 Prairie View at Southern, 6 p.m., ESPN3
Oct. 19 Jackson State at Mississippi Valley State, 2 p.m., ESPN3
Oct. 24 Jackson State at Prairie View, 6:30 p.m., ESPNU
Oct. 26 Alabama A&M at Alabama State, 2:30 p.m., ESPN3
Nov. 2 Alabama A&M at Southern, 4 p.m. ESPN3
Nov. 9 Alcorn State at Grambling State, 2 p.m., ESPN3
Nov. 23 Alcorn State at Jackson State, 2 p.m., ESPN3
Dec. 7 SWAC Championship Game, 3 p.m., ESPNU