The Atlantic Sun Conference is getting up and running as a football enterprise and the WAC is back as a football league, but neither is ready to stand on their own two feet just yet. And so for the fall 2021 season, the A-Sun and WAC will join forces into one conference, with an automatic bid to the FCS playoffs awarded to the winner.
“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 set up is relatively simple. Central Arkansas, Eastern Kentucky and Jacksonville State will compete from the A-Sun, and Abilene Christian, Lamar, Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin, new FCS darling Tarleton State and the soon-to-be-renamed Dixie State will join from the WAC. The 9-team joint venture will be known as the AQ7, since Tarleton State and Dixie State are still in the process of reclassifying from D2 to FCS, and so they are not eligible for the 2021 FCS playoffs. (Games involving Tarleton and Dixie will not count toward the league standings.)
Each team will play three home and three away games, and the team with the highest winning percentage will represent the A-Sun and the WAC in chase for the 2021 FCS title.