Bears unveil first ASUN schedule for 2021

ATLANTA, Ga. – The ASUN Conference and Western Athletic Conference have agreed on a one-year Football scheduling alliance for the 2021 fall football season. Presented as the ASUN-WAC Challenge, the agreement will allow for seven institutions–three ASUN members and four WAC members–to be eligible for an automatic qualification into the 2021 NCAA FCS Playoffs.

“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.”

The alliance will feature Central Arkansas, Eastern Kentucky and Jacksonville State from the ASUN Conference and Abilene Christian, Lamar University, Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin from the WAC. ASUN members Kennesaw State and North Alabama will continue to participate in the Big South Conference for the 2021 season, while WAC members Dixie State and Tarleton will participate in the joint schedule but will not be eligible for the group’s AQ due to their status as NCAA Division I reclassifying institutions. WAC member New Mexico State will continue as an FBS Independent. ASUN member Liberty will continue as an FBS Independent. ASUN member Stetson will continue to play in the non-scholarship Pioneer Football League. 

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.

ASUN-WAC Challenge Schedule Dates

Sept. 25, 2021

Sam Houston at Central Arkansas

Abilene Christian at Lamar

Oct. 2, 2021

Central Arkansas at Abilene Christian

Tarleton at Eastern Kentucky – #

Sam Houston at Stephen F. Austin

Oct. 9, 2021

Abilene Christian at Eastern Kentucky

Stephen F. Austin at Jacksonville State

Lamar at Sam Houston

Oct. 16, 2021

Lamar at Abilene Christian

Eastern Kentucky at Central Arkansas

Tarleton at Dixie State – #

Oct. 23, 2021

Central Arkansas at Lamar

Stephen F. Austin at Dixie State – #

Jacksonville State at Sam Houston

Oct. 30, 2021

Abilene Christian at Stephen F. Austin

Central Arkansas at Jacksonville State

Lamar at Eastern Kentucky

Sam Houston at Tarleton – #

Nov. 6, 2021

Abilene Christian at Jacksonville State

Dixie State at Sam Houston

Eastern Kentucky at Stephen F. Austin

Lamar at Tarleton – #

Nov. 13, 2021

Tarleton at Abilene Christian – #

Stephen F. Austin at Central Arkansas

Eastern Kentucky at Sam Houston

Jacksonville State at Lamar

Nov. 20, 2021

Sam Houston at Abilene Christian

Central Arkansas at Tarleton – #

Jacksonville State at Eastern Kentucky

Stephen F. Austin at Lamar

# – Contests against Dixie State and Tarleton do not count towards alliance win percentage