BRENTWOOD, Tenn./FRISCO, Tex. — In a joint announcement made Monday, the Ohio Valley (OVC) and Southland conferences are announcing plans for a football scheduling alliance. The plans between the two NCAA Division I FCS leagues are to occur in the 2022 and 2023 seasons.
The news was announced by OVC commissioner Beth DeBauche and Southland commissioner Tom Burnett.
The collaboration will see member schools from each conference filling available non-conference dates for the next two seasons. Moreover, the purpose of the alliance is to focus on competitive balance and reasonable travel time.
In addition to providing quality non-conference matchups, the alliance will also increase visibility, exposure, and branding for each conference. Both conferences have long-standing ESPN broadcast agreements.
Specific details, including game matchups for the 2022 and 2023 seasons, will be available at a later date.
DeBauche: ‘New alliance will strengthen OVC and Southland’
“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.”
DeBauche elaborates further on how this alliance strengthens OVC and Southland.
“This partnership strengthens not only both football leagues, but the FCS overall with quality non-conference matchups,” DeBauche elaborates. “Given the changing Division I landscape, this demonstrates ways that conferences can collaborate to support one another.”
Burnett: ‘We look forward to some outstanding FCS crossover games’
“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.”
Burnett stated that they look forward to some outstanding, meaningful FCS crossover games.
“We all appreciate the strong level of interest and cooperation between our two leagues,” said Burnett.
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.
More about OVC
Football members of the Ohio Valley conference 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.)
- University of Tennessee at Martin (Martin, Tenn.)
More about Southland
Southland football members include:
- Houston Baptist University (Houston, Tex.)
- University of the Incarnate Word (San Antonio, Tex.)
- McNeese State University (Lake Charles, La.)
- Nicholls State University (Thibodaux, La.)
- Northwestern State University (Natchitoches, La.)
- Southeastern Louisiana University (Hammond, La.)
- Texas A&M University-Commerce (Commerce, Tex.)
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Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.
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