HBCU rivals Central State University and Kentucky State University will begin their 2021 football seasons on August 28 at the inaugural “Classic for Columbus” on the Ohio State University campus.
The game will take place out of conference at Ohio Stadium, home of the Buckeyes. The rivalry between the two teams dates back to 1947 with CSU leading the series 36-23-1. In addition, over 20 events and associated activities will take place throughout the week starting Wednesday, August 25.
Both schools saw their 2020 seasons halted by the coronavirus pandemic, and central state ended up canceling all athletic competitions for the 2020 fall and spring seasons. CSU Athletics Tara A. Owens told HBCU Gameday that the school was excited about the game.
“We were looking forward to the day when we can safely return to competition,” said Owens. “With a new staff led by Head Coach Bobby Rome and a full roster of re-energized and motivated student-athletes, we look forward to representing and presenting Central State University at the Classic for Columbus.
Rome, who was hired in February 2020, have yet to make their coaching debut but are chomping at the bit to kick off the season and its schedule.
“It’s an exciting time for Central State football. We have spent time away from the pitch recruiting and developing talented and versatile players who have a champion mentality and an unmatched passion for football, ”Rome told Gameday. “The Classic for Columbus is a great opportunity for us to get back to action in a world class venue. Central State is a growing program and university and we can’t wait to kick off our season on August 28 at Ohio Stadium.
Other classic HBCU football matches include the Southern Heritage Classic (Jackson State University vs. Tennessee State University), Bayou Classic (Grambling State University v University of the South), the Magic City Classic (Alabama A&M University vs. Alabama State University) and the Florida Classic (Bethune-Cookman University vs. Florida A&M University). The first HBCU Combine for NFL Draft-eligible HBCU football student-athletes will take place in early 2022.