ASUN, WAC announce football scheduling alliance for fall 2021

By Kevin Kelley -

The Atlantic Sun Conference (ASUN) and the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) have announced a football scheduling alliance for the fall 2021 season, which will be know as the ASUN-WAC Challenge.

The alliance will feature the three incoming playoff-eligible teams from the ASUN, Central Arkansas, Eastern Kentucky and Jacksonville State, and four incoming teams from the WAC, Abilene Christian, Lamar, Sam Houston State, and Stephen F. Austin.

ASUN members Kennesaw State and North Alabama will again compete in the Big South Conference for the fall 2021 season. Since they are still reclassifying to the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), WAC members Dixie State and Tarleton State will play a “joint schedule” but are not eligible for an automatic playoff bid.

“The ASUN and WAC are proud to be building opportunities for our student-athletes to compete at the highest level,” stated ASUN Commissioner Ted Gumbart. “This partnership provides teams in both leagues a path to an automatic bid and elevates the ASUN and WAC to a new level of competition. We look forward to creating more innovative ways to promote ASUN Football as an NCAA FCS league in 2021 and beyond.”

“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 seven schools, known as the AQ7, will play a single round-robin, with each institution having three home contests and three road contests. The home team will be responsible for officials, 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 that has the highest winning percentage against the other conference.

Below is the schedule for the 2021 ASUN-WAC Challenge:

ASUN-WAC Challenge Schedule

Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021
Sam Houston State at Central Arkansas
Abilene Christian at Lamar

Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021
Central Arkansas at Abilene Christian
Tarleton State at Eastern Kentucky*
Sam Houston State at Stephen F. Austin

Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021
Abilene Christian at Eastern Kentucky
Stephen F. Austin at Jacksonville State
Lamar at Sam Houston State

Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021
Lamar at Abilene Christian
Eastern Kentucky at Central Arkansas
Tarleton State at Dixie State*

Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021
Central Arkansas at Lamar
Stephen F. Austin at Dixie State*
Jacksonville State at Sam Houston State

Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021
Abilene Christian at Stephen F. Austin
Central Arkansas at Jacksonville State
Lamar at Eastern Kentucky
Sam Houston State at Tarleton State*

Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021
Abilene Christian at Jacksonville State
Dixie State at Sam Houston State
Eastern Kentucky at Stephen F. Austin
Lamar at Tarleton State*

Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021
Tarleton State at Abilene Christian*
Stephen F. Austin at Central Arkansas
Eastern Kentucky at Sam Houston State
Jacksonville State at Lamar

Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021
Sam Houston State at Abilene Christian
Central Arkansas at Tarleton State*
Jacksonville State at Eastern Kentucky
Stephen F. Austin at Lamar

* Contests against Dixie State and Tarleton do not count towards alliance win percentage.

Football Schedules

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Comments (2)

Tarleton State already looks very strong for a FCS newcomer in taking McNeese to double OT and whipping New Mexico State. I really think the Aggies should drop down to FCS and join the WAC,being in a conference would really help their recruiting and with the WAC eyeing FBS status in a few years,would give NMSU time to upgrade their program.