WAC, ASUN announce football partnership for 2021
DENVER – Officially titled the WAC-ASUN Challenge, the Western Athletic Conference and ASUN Conference have agreed on a football scheduling alliance that will allow for the seven institutions to be eligible for an automatic qualification into the 2021 NCAA FCS Playoffs.
"I am very pleased the WAC and ASUN were able to work through various issues and compromise on the elements of a mutually-beneficial scheduling alliance for the upcoming football season," said WAC Commissioner Jeff Hurd. "The fact that it came together in a relatively short period of time is a credit to the administrators and coaches of all the involved institutions."
The alliance will feature Abilene Christian, Lamar University, Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin from the WAC and Central Arkansas, Eastern Kentucky and Jacksonville State from the ASUN.
WAC members Dixie State and Tarleton will participate in the joint schedule but will not be eligible for the group's AQ as they will be in their second year of NCAA reclassification to Division I.
The seven institution, termed the AQ7, will play a single round-robin with each institution having three home and three road contests. The home team will be responsible for officials and will control media rights and game broadcast inventory.
The team with the highest winning percentage among AQ7 games shall receive the automatic qualification to the FCS playoffs. In addition, a trophy will be presented to the conference with the highest winning percentage against the other.
ASUN members Kennesaw State and North Alabama will continue to participate in the Big South Conference for the 2021 season, and WAC member New Mexico State will continue as an FBS Independent.