2022 HBCU NY Classic: Morehouse and Howard’s Long-Awaited Reunion


The Howard University Bison and Morehouse College Maroon Tigers will face each other on the football field for the first time in seven years this Saturday, September 17th, at MetLife Stadium, home to the Jets and Giants. Over 30,000 spectators are expected to grace the stands at the inaugural Toyota HBCU Football Classic. The teams have faced each other 37 times with Howard having the overall advantage 25-10-2 in addition to winning the last matchup in 2015 35-17.

RELATED: How to watch Howard vs Morehouse –  Live stream, TV info, kickoff time for Saturday’s HBCU New York Football Classic

 “We are looking forward to a hard fought football contest against a solid Howard football team who has shown to play responsibly in all three phases of the game,” said Rich Freeman, Morehouse’s head football coach. “After having played two of the toughest teams in Division 2 football, we feel that we’ve had good preparation for the depth that Howard will boast as an FCS opponent.”

This match up is highly anticipated as both Morehouse and Howard are winless so far in the 2022 season. However, both teams have faced formidable competition in the last two weeks with Morehouse falling 42-0 to the University of West Georgia and Howard facing the University of Central Florida for the first time ever (a 42-20 loss). 

“For us, it’s all about us, we can’t worry about the opponent,” said Larry Scott, Howard’s head football coach. “We have to get to the point where we clean up and control the things we need to clean up and control, then we’ll put ourselves in a position to win. We’re a football team that’s good enough, [the players] believe and they play hard.”

While both institutions are known for their educational achievements, the teams are eager to leave a larger legacy in the realm of sports.

“These two school names reign synonymous in most Black homes across America as two of the cultural and tradition rich HBCUs,” said Scott. “These are two strong historic brands academically and what we want to do is bring more presence to the athletic side of what both these great universities represent as well.”

What is a HBCU Classic?

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have a strong legacy built off talent and tradition, especially in the realm of sports. Black college football reigns as a community staple for students, alumni and fans alike due to legendary matchups dating back to the early 1900s. Unlike bowl games, classics take place during college football’s regular season at a neutral site and include a wide range of events like college fairs, step shows, tailgates and parades. 

HBCU Classic
A crowd witnessing the Howard-Lincoln football game; Thanksgiving Day, 1926 (c/o Scurlock Studio)

The history of HBCU classics dates back to early 1921, and the first formal reference to a classic in respect to HBCUs is accredited to the 1919 game between Howard University and Lincoln University on Thanksgiving Day. In 1921, that matchup was played as the “Colored Football Classic.” However, the two schools’ rivalry on the field dates back to 1893 at a competition strictly organized by the students on the campus of Howard University in front of 2,000 spectators on the gridiron. 

RELATED: NBC Sports to present three HBCU College Games this Season

“In the thirty years that these annual contests have been played, the Howard-Lincoln Classic has grown by leaps and bounds until it has become the outstanding athletic and social event for Negroes in America,” wrote a Howard student in a 1924 edition of The Hilltop. “What the Harvard-Yale and the Army-Navy struggle are to white Americans, the Howard-Lincoln Classic is to Negroes.”

Many of the contemporary classics were birthed from the divide of segregation. The widely celebrated Orange Blossom Classic hosted by Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University started in 1933 as a Black equivalent to the white only Orange Bowl hosted by the University of Miami. Under the same guise, Grambling State University created the Sugar Cup Classic as an alternative to the Sugar Bowl.

HBCU Classic Photo
The First Bayou Classic in 1974 (c/o The Gramblingite)

Impact of HBCU Classics

To date, these games are some of the most attended and highest earning events for HBCUs. Every year, the Bayou Classic between Southern University and Grambling State University pulls in over 250,000 visitors and generates an estimated $50 million in revenue for the state of Louisiana. The 2022 edition of the Bayou Classic is set to air on NBC and Peacock on Saturday, November 26th from the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans. 

As a whole, the culture surrounding Black football has continued to develop and thrive throughout the four surviving HBCU conferences. This weekend the HBCU New York Football Classic is set to premiere at the MetLife Stadium between Howard University and Morehouse. 

“With the spotlight focused on HBCUs over the past couple years, it’s vital that we support each other on the field of play and in the academic arena, regardless of conference affiliation,” said Sonja Stills, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference commissioner. “Contests like the HBCU NYU Football Classic are just one means of showing that support.”

Sponsorships from Toyota and HBCU Tools for Schools are set to provide scholarships and resources to HBCU students across the nation. Google is the official sponsor of the Halftime show and has committed to providing $350,000 in funding including a $210,000 scholarship donation to over 100 HBCU Students.

“I’m a proud graduate of Hampton University and know first-hand how informative my years on campus were, not only for my professional career but my personal development as a leader as well,” said Melonie Parker, Chief Diversity Officer at Google. “And while campus life and curriculums may have changed since I walked those halls, having access to the proper tools, resources and networks remains critical to the success of every student. By working alongside these institutions, Google hopes to create more access and insight into the tech world and help give students the tools early on to better prepare them for a career in tech.”

How to watch Howard vs Morehouse in the 2022 HBCU NY Classic:

  • Where: MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey
  • When: Saturday, September 17 at 3:00 PM ET
  • Stream live: Watch on Peacock and CNBC

Author’s note: Ashleigh Fields is a well-established writer, award-winning journalist and two-time self-published author who previously served as the Editor-in-Chief for The Hilltop, Howard University’s campus newspaper. She is an avid speaker with an interest in education and public policy. You can read more of her work here.

Wisconsin college football history: Big Ten and national titles, stadium, 2023 season outlook and more


Winners of the inaugural Big Ten title in 1896, the Wisconsin Badgers enter a new era in 2023 with Luke Fickell taking over as head coach. Fickell takes over a team which finished last season with a losing conference record for the first time since 2008 and enters this year with a new quarterback under center.

Beginning this fall, NBC and Peacock will be the exclusive home of Big Ten Saturday Night, a primetime football game each weekend. Peacock will also serve as the exclusive home for eight additional Big Ten football games each season. Keep reading for a primer on all things Wisconsin and all things Big Ten ahead of the 2023 season.

How long has Wisconsin been in the Big Ten?

Wisconsin is one of the original members of the Big Ten, playing in the conference’s inaugural season in 1896. The Badgers won each of the first two conference titles, finishing first in the Big Ten in both 1896 and 1897.

Has Wisconsin ever won the Big Ten championship?

Wisconsin has won 14 Big Ten championships, including the inaugural title in the 1896 season. Their most recent Big Ten championship came in the 2012 season, which capped off three-straight conference titles for the Badgers from 2010 to 2012.

RELATED: Wisconsin RB Allen discusses playing for Fickell

Has Wisconsin ever won the national championship?

No, Wisconsin has never won a national championship in football. In the 1962 season, Wisconsin finished second in both the AP and Coaches polls behind Southern Cal, who defeated Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl that season.

What is the name of Wisconsin’s stadium?

With a capacity of more than 80,000, Camp Randall Stadium serves as the home of the Wisconsin Badgers football team. The land was originally used for training Wisconsin troops during the Civil War and is named after Wisconsin’s first wartime governor, Alexander W. Randall. Camp Randall is home to one of college football’s greatest traditions, with the crowd erupting with the playing of the song “Jump Around” by House of Pain.

RELATED: Wisconsin spends spring practice adapting to new offense

Who is Wisconsin’s head coach?

After leading Cincinnati for the past six seasons, Luke Fickell is entering his first year as head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers. Fickell replaces Paul Chryst, who was fired last October and replaced by Jim Leonhard, who finished the year as interim head coach. Fickell went 57-18 over his six seasons in Cincinnati, including a trip to the 2021 College Football Playoff. He is no stranger to the Big Ten, playing at Ohio State in the 1990’s and spending 16 of his first 18 seasons in coaching on the Buckeyes’ staff, including one year as head coach (2011).

What is Wisconsin’s mascot?

Bucky Badger (full name Buckingham U. Badger) is the mascot for the Wisconsin Badgers. While the badger has been the university’s mascot since 1889, the first costumed Bucky did not make an appearance until 1949 and is known for wearing his signature red and white striped shirt.

RELATED: NCAA rules panel approves keeping clock running on 1st downs

What is Wisconsin’s 2023 season outlook?

The Luke Fickell era is beginning in Madison, with Fickell taking over a team that has won a bowl game in eight of the past nine seasons. Coming with Fickell is new offensive coordinator Phil Longo, who spent the past four years in the same position at North Carolina. Longo is known for having a pass-heavy offense with the Tar Heels and will look to bring that to a Wisconsin program known for a ground-and-pound, run-heavy attack. Fickell and Longo brought in three new quarterbacks from the transfer portal to replace former starter Graham Mertz, who transferred to Florida. Redshirt senior Tanner Mordecai, who played at both Oklahoma and SMU, looks set to take over as the starting QB in Madison this year.

How to Watch Big Ten Football on NBC and Peacock

In August 2022, NBCUniversal and the Big Ten Conference today announced a landmark 7-year agreement for NBC and Peacock to become the exclusive home of Big Ten Saturday Night football, beginning in fall of 2023. Peacock will also serve as the exclusive home for eight additional Big Ten Football games each season.

NBC Sports/Peacock’s new agreement with college sports’ top conference will also feature dozens of men’s and women’s basketball games (including multiple games each year in the Men’s and Women’s Big Ten Tournaments), Olympic sports, golf and more, providing hundreds of hours of Big Ten content across Peacock.

What devices can I watch Peacock on?

Peacock is currently available on the Roku platform; Amazon FireTV and Fire tablets; Apple devices including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD; Google platforms and devices including Android™, Android TV™ devices, Chromecast and Chromecast built-in devices;  Microsoft’s Xbox One family of devices, including Xbox One S and Xbox One X; Sony PlayStation4 and PlayStation 4 Pro; Samsung Smart TVs; VIZIO SmartCast™ TVs; LG Smart TVs; Comcast’s entertainment platforms including Xfinity X1, Xfinity Flex, and XClass TV; and Cox’s Contour and Contour Stream Player devices. To learn more about Peacock and how to sign up, visit PeacockTV.com.

When will UCLA, USC join the Big Ten Conference?


The Big Ten has served as one of the nation’s premier intercollegiate athletic conferences for over 125 years. Originally founded by a group of seven universities led by Purdue president James H. Smart, the group has grown by leaps and bounds since its formation in 1896. The conference that was originally comprised of seven teams grew to an eventual 14, and is now set to expand to 16 with the groundbreaking addition of UCLA and USC to the Big Ten.

RELATED: Big Ten primetime football finds a home in NBC and Peacock

When will USC, UCLA join the Big Ten?

Crosstown rival programs USC and UCLA both announced in summer 2022 that they will leave the Pac-12 Conference for the Big Ten on August 2, 2024.

The move rocked the college football world, considering the length of time that both schools were members of their previous conference. USC had held Pac-12 membership since 1922, winning a total of 39 conference football titles and nine basketball titles in that span. The UCLA Bruins were a part of the group since 1928, taking home 16 football and 32 basketball conference titles in those years.

UCLA and USC’s transition was announced on the heels of Oklahoma and Texas confirming their departure for the SEC last season, a move that is set to transpire ahead of the 2025 college football season.

Come 2024, the Pac-12 will be comprised of only 10 members, while the Big Ten will stretch from coast to coast.

RELATED: Click here for NBC coverage of college football

What schools are in the Big Ten Conference?

  • University of Michigan
  • Ohio State University
  • Penn State University
  • University Maryland
  • Michigan State University
  • Indiana University
  • Rutgers University
  • Purdue University
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Wisconsin
  • University of Nebraska
  • Northwestern University
  • USC (will join in 2024)
  • UCLA (will join in 2024)

Why is it called the Big Ten?

Despite its current 14 members, the conference retains its title of “Big Ten” to this day. The name originated after Michigan rejoined in 1917, bringing the membership from nine to 10 teams. Media members were the first to dub the group the “Big Ten”, which was eventually confirmed as the conference’s official name in 1987.

RELATED: Purdue, Penn State to battle for Big Ten basketball title

How can I watch Big Ten football, basketball and more?

While Big Ten football coverage for the 2023 season will be split among NBC, Fox and CBS, NBC and Peacock will be the home of the conference’s biggest game every week with Big Ten Saturday Night. NBC Sports’ new agreement with the Big Ten will also feature coverage of several men’s and women’s basketball games, Olympic sports, golf and more.

It became official in August of 2022 that NBC will air Big Ten Saturday Night on NBC and Peacock, with a primetime football game each fall weekend.