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Neither school is a traditional football power. During its decades as a member of first the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association and then the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, Howard has gained attention mostly with some marvelous soccer and track teams. And, oh yes, its swinging band, which is funky enough to bring the departed leaping from graves and urns.

Georgetown, of course, has long qualified as a men’s basketball power under the Thompsons, Junior and III. Once the Hoyas were significant, too, on football fronts, even to the point of playing in the Orange Bowl. But that was, as they say, long ago (1941) and far away.

Nowadays, both football programs have nowhere to go but up, and it’s fitting that they try to do so together. Mediocrity marked their first joint appearance, but that impression need not be lasting.