HBCU rivals Central State University and Kentucky State University will begin their 2021 football seasons on August 28 in the first “Classic for Columbus” on the Ohio State University campus.
The game will be played as a non-conference game 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. Additionally, there will be more than 20 associated events and activities held throughout the week beginning Wednesday August 25.
Both schools had their 2020 seasons interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic and Central State ended up cancelling all athletic competitions for the 2020 fall and spring seasons. CSU Athletics Tara A. Owens told HBCU Gameday the school is excited for the game.
“We have been anxiously waiting for the day when we can safely return to competition,” Owens said. “With a new staff led by head coach Bobby Rome and a roster full of re-energized and motivated student-athletes, we can’t wait to represent and showcase Central State University at the Classic for Columbus.
Rome, who was hired in February 2020 has yet to make his coaching debut but is chomping at the bit to get the season and his program started.
“It is an exciting time for Central State football. We have spent the time away from the field recruiting and developing talented and versatile players who possess championship mentalities and unmatched passion for the game of football,” Rome told Gameday. “The Classic for Columbus is a great opportunity for us to return to action in a world-class venue. Central State is a program and a university that’s on the rise and we look forward to kicking off our season on August 28th in Ohio Stadium.”
Other classic HBCU football games include the Southern Heritage Classic (Jackson State University vs. Tennessee State University), the Bayou Classic (Grambling State University vs. Southern University), 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 inaugural HBCU Combine for NFL Draft eligible HBCU football student-athletes will take place in early 2022.