CIAA Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Championship Game
Courtesy of the CIAA Sports Information Office | 11/10/2010, 10:23 a.m.
WEEK 12 - CIAA Celebrates 40th-Year Anniversary of the Creation of the Championship Game
Hampton, VA - The CIAA celebrates 40 years since it created the first Collegiate Football Championship Game in 1970. At that time, the Northern and Southern Division Champions squared off and played a championship game, and the format continued until 1990.
The interdivisional championship game, a format pioneered by the CIAA, has become a staple in Division I Football with the Southeastern (SEC), Big 12, and Atlantic Coast Conferences (ACC) utilizing the format. In fact, the CIAA co-authored the NCAA Legislation requiring a conference have a football membership of at least 12 teams to have a championship game. The CIAA football membership now stands at 13, the largest of any historically black college conference.
This year, the CIAA Championship Game has both championship veteran and rookie teams. Shaw is making its fourth championship appearance and Virginia State its first. The Bears have won two of the last three (2007, and 2008) CIAA Titles. The Bears enter the Championship on a seven game win streak and the Trojans have won four in a row.
Over the past month, no team has been as dominant as VSU. The Trojans have outscored their last three opponents by a combined 111-21. The Trojans finished second in the CIAA giving up a mere 15.8 points per contest. Defensively, VSU is led by LB LaQuentin Milo and DB Ian White.
Offensively, VSU relies on its running game and Antwain Lyde. Ironically, the Trojans won the first championship game in 1970, knocking off Johnson C. Smith, 32-14. They have not played in the Championship since the 1988 game.
Shaw is led by its prolific offense (32.4 ppg). Specifically, its QB Kevin Atkins (1742 yards passing, 19TDs) and RB Raymond Williams (964 yards rushing, 8 TDs) lead the way. Defensively, Shaw is a bend but not break defense led by Fred Sparkman.
The game kicks off at 1 p.m. at Durham (NC) County Stadium.