The Road to the SWAC Championship 2022 is in the fourth quarter and the clock just hit triple zeroes. and what an exciting race it came down to in the SWAC West. There were two teams in the SWAC West Division that still had a chance at the Black College National Championship.
To qualify for the seventh edition of the Celebration Bowl a team must first win the SWAC championship.
JACKSON STATE TIGERS (11-0) *(8-0)
The JSU Tigers were the clear favorite to return back to the Celebration Bowl after their tough defeat against the South Carolina State Bulldogs of the MEAC.
Jackson State have clinched 1st place in the SWAC East Division
Their remaining game is against the Southern Jaguars on December 3rd 2022 at 4pm EST on ESPN2
The JSU Tigers have been dominant all year long and they clinched the SWAC East Division. They won the regular season finale against the Alcorn State Braves on the road 24-13 to complete an undefeated regular season heading into the SWAC Championship. QB Shedeur Sanders returned after an injury had him leave early against the Alabama A&M Bulldogs and stand out Travis Hunter accounted for 14-points with a touchdown pass and an interception return for a touchdown.
SOUTHERN JAGUARS (7-4) *(5-3)
The Jaguars have clinched 1st place in the SWAC West Division.
To end the regular season, they beat the Grambling Tigers (3-8) on November 26th 34-17.
The GSU Tigers wanted to play spoiler and had a 17-14 lead against the Jaguars in the third quarter. The Panthers still had a chance to go to the SWAC Championship if the Jaguars had lost based on conference record. The Jaguars defense stepped up in a 20-point fourth quarter triggered by a roughing the punter penalty in which the Jaguars kept possession and never let the game go.
The JSU Tigers are going to host the Southern Jaguars again after a 35-0 win when ESPN’s College Gameday came to visit. The Jaguars will definitely have payback in mind with a chance for their first Celebration Bowl trip on the line.
The Jaguars needed to win their remaining game and they needed the Prairie View Panthers to lose their remaining game.
Both the Panthers and the TSU Tigers lost their last game to open the door for the Southern Jaguars. The Jaguars (if they were not motivated enough) had the opportunity to beat their in-state rival Grambling State University Tigers and earn a return trip to Jackson State University for the championship on December 3, 2022 at 4pm EST on ESPN2.
The Jaguars held the tiebreaker against the Panthers based on their 45-13 win on October 8th, 2022.
PRAIRIE VIEW PANTHERS (6-5) *(5-3)
The Panthers are currently in 2nd place in the SWAC West Division
The Panthers were upset by the Mississippi Valley Delta Devils (2-9) 27-7 which opened the door for the Southern Jaguars.
The Panthers were GSU Tigers fans for this Bayou Classic only and into the third quarter the upset could have happened, but the Jaguars proved to be too strong for the GSU Tigers and secured their spot in the SWAC Championship
The Panthers needed to win their remaining game to secure a spot in the SWAC championship game. Since they lost, the Southern Jaguars won the SWAC West because they beat the Grambling State Tigers at the Bayou Classic on November 26, 2022 at 2pm.
If the Southern Jaguars were to lose the Bayou Classic the Panthers would clinch the SWAC West Division and travel to play the Jackson State Tigers on December 3rd, 2022.
To recap how we got here….
The Road to the SWAC Championship
The Road to the SWAC Championship Part 2
The Road to the SWAC Championship Part 3
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