Comegy, Tigers Seek Another SWAC Crown

By Ivan McDowell
Updated: July 23, 2008

BIRMINGHAM — When Rick Comegy won his first SWAC Championship last December you had the feeling that it wasn’t just the end of a thrilling season, but the potential beginning of a dynasty.

Jackson State, one of the traditional black powers, had fallen on mediocre times recently until Comegy was hired two seasons to restore the luster that had been missing in the program.

While some may not consider the Tigers all the way back to the glory years, peers within the conference voted them the overwhelming favorite to return to Legion Field and capture a second straight title.

JSU received 17 first-place votes and 105 overall.The rest of the Eastern Division was predicted to stack up this way:

2. Alabama A&M

3. Mississippi Valley State

4. Alabama State

5. Alcorn State

Coach Rod Broadway enters his second season as head man at legendary Grambling State University. Broadway led his Tigers to another appearance in the championship game; falling to Jackson State and finishing with an 8-4 record.

Grambling is known for SWAC excellence on the football field, and according to conference coaches and media, the Tigers will return to Birmingham as well.Others in pursuit of the crown from the Western Division:

2. Southern

3. Prairie View

4. Arkansas-Pine Bluff

5. Texas Southern

Southern University Quarterback Bryant Lee was chosen as Pre-season SWAC Offensive Player of the Year; while Zach East of Prairie View garnered Pre-season Defensive Player of the Year.

Lee had an impressive 23 touchdowns last season and 2326 yards; leading the Jaguars to an 8-3 record and a second-place finish in the Western Division. East won the Defensive POY last season; leading the conference in tackles (127) and being named a AFCA All-American.


— Grambling State has won four of the nine SWAC championships since the conference instituted its current format in 1999. Jackson State won their first last season.

— Keynote speaker Aeneas Williams is a Southern University graduate. Williams is an eight-time pro bowler and a five-time All-Pro. Williams also made the NFL All-Decade Team for the 1990’s.