Bowl rundown: A&T back to Celebration Bowl; Belk bids adieu to Charlotte

NC A&T coach Sam Washington (right) holds the Celebration Bowl trophy after his teams 24-22 win against Alcorn State on Saturday ( photo)

Welcome back, Aggies

The NC A&T Aggies return to the Celebration Bowl for the third straight year and the fourth time in the five-year history of the event. The Aggies are unbeaten in the unofficial HBCU national championship game, including wins over this year’s opponent, Alcorn State, in 2015 and 2018.

A&T backed into this year’s game after finishing second in the MEAC. Florida A&M, which won the league and had the best record of any HBCU school, is serving a postseason ban after 93 student-athletes across six sports were improperly certified despite not meeting requirements. A&T, 8-3, will take on SWAC champion Alcorn, 9-2, in Atlanta’s Mercedez-Benz Stadium at noon on Dec. 21 on ABC.

One last hurrah for Belk

Charlotte’s bowl game will soon have its fourth naming sponsor. Previously known as the Continental Tire Bowl and the Meineke Car Care Bowl, Belk has sponsored the game since 2011. This will be the last year of the naming arrangement, however.

The traditional ACC-SEC matchup, which also will change in 2020 when the Big Ten gets involved, features Virginia Tech and Kentucky.