The 73rd annual Magic City Classic in Birmingham, Alabama is a football tradition that pits two of the state’s top HBCUs against each other. The Alabama A&M University Bulldogs and the Alabama State University Hornets will square off this weekend in one of the premier events in Black collegiate sports. The games got their start in 1924 but didn’t become an annual tradition until years later.
In 1945, the Magic City Classic picked back up and has continued unbroken since. The following year, the game made its debut at Legion Field. The games have been played in the downtown Birmingham arena each year since. The Bulldogs hold a slight edge in wins over the 73 contests against the Hornets. Alabama A&M has won 38 games versus Alabama State’s 36. Between the teams, there have been three ties.
For the 2014 Classic, the Bulldogs are gunning for revenge after the Hornets trounced them in a 31-7 contest last year. Bulldogs coach James Spady leads his team in his first year in the position, hoping to add to the team’s six SWAC Eastern Division Championships. Spady’s Hornets opponent, former NFL player and head coach Reggie Barlow, has the edge in experience with a 42-37 all-time record.
Alabama State alum, quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, has had a turbulent NFL career but did make history as the first backup quarterback to ever play in a Super Bowl when the Seattle Seahawks put him in the game last season.
Alabama A&M standout John Stallworth starred as a wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers for his entire career, and was inducted into the 2012 class of the NFL Hall Of Fame.
(Photo: Magic City Classic website)