On Thursday, September 3rd, League officials from the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) announced that the Alcorn State University (ASU) Braves would be joining the Western Division during the 2021-2022 school year.
With the recent departure of the Florida A&M University Rattlers and the Bethune-Cookman University Wildcats from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) to officially joining the SWAC in 2021-2022, League official’s decision to place them in the Eastern Division took on several key concerns such as shortest distance of travel amongst League membership, student athletic welfare, overall competitive equality and missed class time.
With the Braves leaving the Eastern Division this places them in the Western Division with the likes of the Southern University Jaguars, the Grambling State University Tigers and the Prairie View A&M Panthers. The Jaguars and Braves have played for the SWAC Championship in the last two seasons with the Braves taking the title and earning a chance to play in the Celebration Bowl. ASU’s addition to the West signifies that since 2008 the SWAC Champion has come from that division.
The addition of the Rattlers and Wildcats gives the SWAC 12 teams. The Eastern Division will consist of Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Bethune-Cookman, Florida A&M, Jackson State and Mississippi Valley State while the Western Division will consist of Alcorn State, Grambling State, Prairie View, Southern, Texas Southern and Arkansas-Pine Bluff.