Many people were disappointed by the cancellation of the 2020 Orange Blossom Classic at Hard Rock Stadium this year, but we can look forward to and know that the 2021 event will be even more highly anticipated, as the Florida A&M Rattlers are set of to face the Jackson State Tigers on Sept. 5. Pro Football Hall of famer Deion Sanders was named head coach of the Jackson State team earlier this week.
“I am truly blessed to be the 21st head football coach of Jackson State University. It’s my desire to continue this storied tradition and history of JSU and prayerfully bring more national recognition to the athletes, the university, the Sonic Boom of the South and HBCUs in general,” he said.
The hiring of Sanders is a huge puzzle piece, not only for JSU but for the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) as well. Sanders is a household name and he will bring a great following to the conference for years to come. The league made it clear that with the recent additions of FAMU and Bethune-Cookman to the fold, it will be looking to make SWAC a top conference and compete with the Power Five schools. The SWAC Council of Presidents and Chancellors – along with the league’s athletic directors and senior women administrators – voted unanimously in favor of the realignment, taking into consideration shortest distance of travel among league membership, student-athlete welfare, missed class time and overall competitive equity.
When the 2021-2022 academic year begins, the SWAC East division will include Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Bethune-Cookman, Florida, A&M, Jackson State and Mississippi Valley State. The SWAC West division will consist of Alcorn State, Grambling State, Prairie View A&M, Southern, Texas Southern, and the Univ. of Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The new realignment will not impact traditional conference rivalries. And speaking of …
It’s rivalry week right now for Florida State and the University of Miami. The Miami Hurricanes are currently on a three-game winning streak in this series and lead the overall series against Florida State with a record of 34-30. The Hurricanes face off against the Florida State Seminoles on Sat., September 26, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Fans will be allowed to attend the game – the 65th meeting of the two schools – which has had huge recruiting implications and sometimes national ranking implications.
The Hurricanes come in ranked as the No. 12 team in the nation, but we all know when these two teams face each other rankings don’t matter. A player to watch will be Cam’Ron Harris, starting running back for the Hurricanes. He is currently a junior and finally getting the opportunity to be the lead running back for the team this year. Harris played football at Miami Carol City Senior High School and looks to leave his mark and cement his legacy in this rivalry against FSU.
A face-off five years in the making
The Miami Dolphins are still searching for a first win of the season. Masked fans were scattered throughout Hard Rock Stadium for the home opener against the Buffalo Bills. The Dolphins lost that game 31-28 with 11,075 fans in attendance, fewer than the maximum 13,000 allowed to attend. Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stated after the game: “We didn’t do enough to win the game. We couldn’t finish. You’ve got to finish in this league if you want to win.”
The team has decided to stay inside during both “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” during the 2020 NFL season, issuing a message demanding action rather than symbolic gestures in the fight against racial injustice and police brutality.
It’s a short week for them, as they’re set to face off against upstate rival the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 24 on Thursday Night Football. This will be the first time these two teams will be playing each other since 2015.