BIRMINGHAM, Al. – Since 2013, the Bayou Classic was essentially a playoff game. Whoever won between Southern and Grambling would claim the SWAC West title and earn a spot in the conference title game, but the story could change in the upcoming fall season.

Alcorn State officially joined the SWAC West, and the big three of the league, Southern, Grambling and the Braves, will have to battle each other before having a chance to claim the conference crown.

All three coaches didn’t budge at SWAC Media Day about the gauntlet their teams will face to claim the west.

“It’s good. You have to play them anyway. Whether you play them early or you play them late, you have to play them. It’s a good thing. We got to play them within conference on our side so it’s always good,” Southern interim head coach Jason Rollins said.

“I think it’s a great thing. At the end of the day, anytime you play against great football teams, it brings the best out of you, and I’m a competitive person. That’s one thing about me: I don’t believe in shying away from anything because it exposes who you are and what you are,” Grambling head coach Broderick Fobbs added.

“We played those teams over there. We just gotta move over, and we’ll be part of the west side this time. Playing the Prairie View, Grambling, Southern, Texas Southern, Pine Bluff now so it’ll be good for us. The kids are excited about moving,” Alcorn State head football coach Fred McNair said.

The last time the Jags beat Alcorn was in 2016, during McNair’s first season with the Braves.

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