The Florida Classic is an annual college football game between the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats and the Florida A&M University Rattlers of the MEAC.
The two historically black universities have met on the gridiron 62 times with the Rattlers holding a 46-15-1 edge.
The game has been called the Florida Classic since 1978.
The home from 1978 through 1996 was Tampa Stadium.
It moved to the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in 1997 where it has been held every year since.
The Wildcats won last season’s game 18-17 in overtime.
They have won four years in a row, a rarity in this series.
The schools are bitter rivals as they are the two most propular historically black schools in the state of Florida.
FAMU is a large public university while B-CU is a small private school.
You will find that while most of the fans get excited for the game on the field, they get even more enthused by the halftime show.
Both schools are famous for their marching bands.
Unfortunately the FAMU Marching 100 was recently on a suspension brought on by the hazing death of a band member after the 2011 game.
The band returned in 2013 and it is as good as ever.
A trip to the Classic is a must-see between two bitter rivals in a jam-packed stadium with both sides represented in the crowd in significant numbers.
The tailgate parties start early in the morning even though kickoff is normally in the evening.
At times there are as many fans outside of the stadium as there are inside.
Vendors set up outside the stadium selling t-shirt and other souvenirs as well as bar-b-q and soul food.
This is a game you will want to get there early and stay late.
By Marie Ospina
Florida Citrus Bowl
1610 West Church Street
Orlando, FL 32805
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