Every year on the weekend after Thanksgiving, the city of New Orleans fills with fans of Southern University Jaguars and Grambling University Tigers from all over the world, and this year was no exception. Two amazing HBCUs compete for the championship inside Caesar’s Superdome. In addition to the game itself, this long-awaited match was preceded by many events. Here are some of the highlights of a week filled with tradition and football.
Monday – press conference
Bayou Classic week kicked off with a press conference at the Superdome. Viewers got the opportunity to hear from both head coaches, both university presidents, the mayor of New Orleans Latoya Cantrell, several sponsors, and director of Superdome facilities. According to the participant Mel Cordier, Public Relations Specialist, University Presidents talked about “the interaction between students and alumni on and off campus, and what needs to be done to improve universities.” Mayor Cantrell enlightened the audience by mentioning that New Orleans is in the top 10 fastest growing cities since the COVID-19 pandemic. The sponsors discussed how they show their support not only with dollars, but also with scholarships for students and support for various departments of the university, such as orchestras. The facility director mentioned that his staff were working around the clock to ensure the Superdome was ready for fans to take their seats.
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Friday – “Battle of the Bands” and “Greek Show” highlight the busy schedule.
Fast-forward to Friday: the morning began with NBC Universal hosting a workshop to give students an insight into NBCU Academy and NBC Sports executives on careers in media and sports broadcasting. This instructive event took place at the Hyatt Regency.
At noon, there was a lunch for coaches, at which the sports staff of each university spoke about the importance this is Bayou Classic.
On Friday afternoon, the Superdome opened its doors for the annual Battle of The Bands show and a Greek show. Seven fraternity and sorority chapters of the National Pan-Hellenic Council competed for a sizable check that would go towards funding the winning chapter. Each team took to the stage and performed stepping. Procter and Gamble, the lead sponsor for the past six years, has given the top prize to the Alpha Tau Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta and the Delta Sigma Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha.
“It’s about creating the resources that young people need to go to school and be able to join the ranks of Fortune 500 companies in the future,” he said. Damon Jones, director of public relations for Procter and Gamble. Proctor and Gamble is responsible for creating everyday household products such as Crest toothpaste and Tide laundry detergent, just to name a few.
What is it like to win a Greek show? “We’ve had big problems because past shows have been nothing short of flawless,” said Amaria Jackson, a member of Delta Sigma Theta. “The opportunity to show those who came before us that we are as dedicated as they are means everything.”
Immediately after the Greek show there was a battle of the bands. Southern University’s human jukebox went up against the world famous Tiger Grambling Marching Band. Zion Williams, A tenor drummer from Grambling University called the Battle of the Bands a learning experience. “Bayou Classic is a battle of Louisiana’s best bands. A football match is a lifelong battle of never-ending rivalry,” Williams said.
The bands played various R&B and soul hits, and the audience loved listening to instrumental versions of their favorite songs.
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Saturday – game day
What is so important about this Bayou Classic? It was a tie-break – the beginning of the game was equal to 24-24. If they win, the Jaguars will play in the SWAC Championship. This game had fans on the fringes of their seats. Grambling University Wide Receiver Lyndon Rash scored the first touchdown on a four-yard pass from Julian Calves. Southern freshman running back Carl Ligon ran two yards to score Jaguar’s first touchdown. RB Kendrick Rhimes made it 14-7 with a five-yard run into the end zone at the end of the second half.
By the 3rd quarter, after an amazing break, Grambling was leading 17-14. This soon changed when the South Defender BeSean McCray saved it himself and ran for 22 yards to give Southern a 21-17 lead.
senior defender Kristen Davis intercepted QB’s Grambling in the final minutes of the game and brought him back 42 yards for the score to give the Jaguars a 34–17 win.
After the game, the SWAC Western Division trophy was presented to the Jaguar coach. Eric Dooley. The Jaguars officially hold the SWAC West title and will face the SWAC East Jackson State champions for the conference title.
Southern run back Kendrick Rimeshailing from Houston, Texas, described playing Bayou Classic as different from any other game: “The whole city is coming out and we’re putting on a show.”
Influence of Bayou Classic
The classic football match is different from regular bowl games because it includes events such as those mentioned above. Back door parties, social events and business expos took place throughout the weekend.
This stadium was filled with die-hard fans of each team. There have been people who have attended Bayou Classic every year for decades. Former Student Council President of Southern University and native of Baton Rouge. Anthony Kenny talking about meaning. “Bayou Classic is the epitome of HBCU pride and tradition in Louisiana,” Kenny said. “It has always been considered a huge event, almost bigger than Thanksgiving itself. It’s a family rivalry, but it’s all about unity when it’s said and done. I’m so glad I got into Southern University.”
After the Bayou Classic, no one is going straight home. Bourbon Street was filled with people having fun and hanging out. At all parties, the clubs are packed to capacity! Celebrities even attend the nightly festivities.
Author’s note: Liler Sims is a graduate of Southern University. She is an aspiring multimedia journalist with a passion for entertainment reporting. She has worked on television and in various publications. You can follow her on all @lealerimani platforms. Some of her work can be read at Southerndigest.com.
Week 12 in the Big Ten included surprise scares for the top two teams in the conference as No. 2 Ohio State (11–0) avoided a close encounter in Maryland (6–5) and No. 3 Michigan (11–0). needed a last-minute field goal to survive against Illinois (7-4) at home.
A possible explanation is that both teams were already looking forward to Week 13, when they would go head-to-head in one of the biggest matches of the 2022 regular season. his playoff hopes were dashed by the Wolverines in Ann Arbor.
However, ahead of the Eastern Big Ten title showdown, Iowa (7-4) decides its fate in the West on Friday afternoon against Nebraska (3-8). The victory will send the Hawkeyes to their second straight Big Ten Championship game (they lost 42–3 to Michigan in 2021). A loss to Iowa would put Purdue (7-4) in the driver’s seat in the West’s Big Ten, giving the Boilermakers a chance to seal the division with Saturday’s 4-7 victory in Indiana.
No. 2 Ohio State Seeks Redemption in Winner Takes All vs. No. 3 Michigan (OSU -7.5, o/u 56)
Best bets: Ohio State -7.5, over 56
A year ago, the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes traveled to Ann Arbor to take on No. 5 Michigan in The Game, a title attributed to the 125-year rivalry between the two schools. On a snowy afternoon at the Big House, the Wolverines combined strong defense and ground play to win The Game for the first time in 10 years, earning a spot in the Big Ten title game and ultimately their first trip to the college football playoffs. .
If you ask Ohio State, everything the team has done over the past year has been in response to this result.
“We have scars”, head coach Ryan Day said Tuesday. “That motivated us all in the offseason.”
Junior offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. spoke in more detail about his feelings. “Looking at the scoreboard, I felt that not only did we fail our number one goal, but all the past people who kept the tradition of beating [Michigan]… I felt like I let them down,” he said on Tuesday. “I stick with it.”
Buckeyes hard end Cade Stover called it “the greatest rivalry in all sports” during his media appearance on Tuesday, adding how personal it feels to players like him who grew up in Ohio.
The energy in Columbus this week was in stark contrast to that from Ann Arbor. “We are very grateful to be in this place, to play this game,” said the Michigan coach. Jim Harbaugh Monday said. “We have a great group of players who are happy warriors. They have a happy mission.”
Wolverine quarterback Jay Jay McCarthy seemed to live up to that description on Tuesday, noting that “the stars aligned and it’s finally here and we’re super excited.”
Harbaugh likened the game to “two superheroes battling each other”, which isn’t too far off what the statistics suggest: Ohio State (ranked #2 in the CFP) is the second most efficient passing offense in the nation. Heisman’s favorite CJ Stroud in quarterback. Michigan (3rd in the CFP rankings) ranks as the fifth best passer in the nation and fourth in offense.
This rush game was marked by a junior running back…