Ohio Valley Conference and Southland Conference announce football scheduling alliance

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 12:55 PM CDT
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BRENTWOOD, TN and FRISCO, TX (SOUTHLAND) - The Ohio Valley Conference and Southland Conference have announced plans for a football scheduling alliance between the two NCAA Division I FCS leagues in the 2022 and 2023 seasons. OVC Commissioner Beth DeBauche and Southland Commissioner Tom Burnett made the joint announcement Monday.

The planned collaboration will see institutions from each conference fill available non-conference dates on schedules in the next two years with a focus toward competitive balance and reasonable travel. In addition to providing quality Division I FCS non-conference matchups, the alliance will allow increased visibility, exposure and branding for each Conference. Both the OVC and Southland have longstanding ESPN broadcast agreements.

More specific details, including game matchups in 2022 and 2023, will be announced at a later date.

“Our Presidents, Chancellors and Athletic Directors have enthusiastically supported this alliance,” said DeBauche. “We are delighted to work together to promote one another and provide a quality student-athlete experience. This partnership strengthens not only both football leagues, but the FCS overall with quality non-conference matchups. Given the changing Division I landscape, this demonstrates ways that conferences can collaborate to support one another.”

“We greatly anticipate the possibilities of a beneficial partnership with the Ohio Valley Conference,” said Burnett. “The Southland presidents and athletic directors have found this to be an exciting competitive opportunity with their OVC peers, and we all look forward to some outstanding and meaningful FCS crossover games during the next two seasons. We all appreciate the strong level of interest and cooperation between our two leagues.” The two Conferences have combined for four FCS National Championships and more than 100 playoff wins since the subdivision was formed in 1978. Additionally, the Southland has served as the host conference for the successful NCAA Division I FCS Championship Game in its home base of Frisco, Texas, since 2011.

OVC football members include Eastern Illinois University (Charleston, Ill.), Murray State University (Murray, Ky.), Southeast Missouri State University (Cape Girardeau, Mo.), Tennessee State University (Nashville, Tenn.), Tennessee Technological University (Cookeville, Tenn.), and the University of Tennessee at Martin (Martin, Tenn.). Southland football members include Houston Baptist University (Houston, Texas), University of the Incarnate Word (San Antonio, Texas), McNeese State University (Lake Charles, La.), Nicholls State University (Thibodaux, La.), Northwestern State University (Natchitoches, La.), Southeastern Louisiana University (Hammond, La.), and Texas A&M University-Commerce (Commerce, Texas).

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