Numbers to Know from the 2017 Celebration Bowl

In the second edition of Grambling State University vs. North Carolina A&T State University in the kickoff to the 2017 college football bowl season, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium was draped in blue and gold as the Aggies defeated the Tigers 21-14 in the third annual Celebration Bowl in Atlanta.

NC A&T Scores Late To Beat Grambling 21-14, Win 2nd Celebration Bowl – Celebration Bowl

ATLANTA – Lamar Raynard scored on a 1-yard sneak with 38 seconds left and unbeaten North Carolina A&T won its second Celebration Bowl in three years, defeating Grambling State 21-14 on Saturday. N.C. A&T (12-0) won its fourth Historically Black College and University national championship.

Here are significant numbers to know (or to guess) from the black college football national championship.


The amount of recap coverage (as of this publishing) on about the Celebration Bowl, which pitted two Division I conference champions, both ranked in the top-25 of the FCS polls competing in a nationally-televised game.

Zero (Cont.)

Over its three-year history, the Celebration Bowl has not publicized an economic impact study, which beyond the $2 million ESPN pays to both conferences to participate in the game would likely be a significant addition to Atlanta’s standing as a premier bowl game hosting destination. In 2016, the Peach Bowl generated just under $42 million dollars in economic impact.

How Atlanta is becoming THE college football capital – Atlanta Business Chronicle

Already home to the College Football Hall of Fame, the SEC Championship, the annual Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, the annual Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, Atlanta has been a stronghold for college football for years. But, what’s in store for the city over the next year will propel Atlanta to the top of the college football kingdom.

Weeks after the release of the United Negro College Fund’s study, which has already been countered by one institution and likely others for its partial reporting of HBCU influence on economy and industry, HBCU economic impact will likely become a key indicator of HBCU strength for corporate investment and public funding in years to come.

New Report Finds Central State Economic Impact Nearly $50 Million More Than UNCF Estimates

Central State University creates more than $140 million annually in regional economic impact through capital, student and operational spending, according to a study commissioned by a state higher education council.


ESPN debuted its referee camera angle during the Celebration Bowl, which didn’t go over well with the Twittersphere’s viewing audience.

ESPN’s trying out REF CAM, and it’s not bad!

It’s bowl season, so that means ESPN’s gonna try some stuff out with their game production. In the first bowl of the 2017 slate, the Celebration Bowl, they slapped a camera on a referee on the sideline for a first-person viewing experience. It’s kinda like the first person football mode from the NFL 2K5 video game.


The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference now claims two of the first three HBCU football national championships determined in the Celebration Bowl, which in 2015 was established as a branding and financial alternative for the MEAC early round playoff exits, and branding boost for the Southwestern Athletic Conference, which long had substituted postseason participation for its conference football championship.


The average margin of victory in the Celebration Bowl in its three years, making the contest among the most competitive and entertaining contests of the bowl game season, despite Grambling and North Carolina A&T emerging as near constant champions in its short history.


The Aggies finished the 2017 season undefeated, a historic first for a Division I historically black college. From the NCAT official game recap.


ATLANTA (December 16, 2017) – In Major League Baseball, the unbreakable record appears to be Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak. In the NBA, it is perhaps Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 points. On Saturday, America may have witnessed another unbreakable record happen in sports, live on ABC.

N.C. A&T is the first-ever Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference school to finish the entire season undefeated. They are the first Division I-AA black college football team to finish a season unbeaten and untied and they broke the school and conference record for wins with 12.


That’s the total combined record for North Carolina A&T head coach Rod Broadway and Grambling State head coach Broderick Fobbs, who both could be targeted this off-season for more lucrative opportunities with non-HBCU programs, like 2016 Celebration Bowl runner-up and North Carolina Central University head coach Jerry Mack.

NCCU football coach takes job at Rice University

On Friday, North Carolina Central University promoted Granville Eastman to serve as the interim head football coach for the 2018 season as Jerry Mack departs NCCU for another coaching position at Rice University in Houston.


Attendance figures reported by both the MEAC and SWAC report the gameday attendance at just over 16,700 people.

But the MEAC press release notes more than 25,000 attendees at the game,

the Celebration Bowl Wikipedia page reports a 12,750 statistic,

and the NCAA has not yet updated attendance statistics for the game.

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