UPDATE: Eastern Kentucky University posted this map of the new look ASUN which will include Central Arkansas and Jacksonville State as the league is set to expand to 12 teams.
This news is expected to be formally announced next month. Eastern Kentucky and Jacksonville State are both currently members of the Ohio Valley Conference where they also play football at the FCS level. EKU is currently 13-2 in men’s basketball this season and 7-1 in OVC play with a KenPom ranking of 161. Jacksonville State is 10-5 this season with a 6-3 mark in OVC play with a 189 KenPom ranking.
The University of Central Arkansas will move from the Southland Conference to the ASUN Conference, UCA athletic director Brad Teague confirmed through several news outlets on Thursday.
Central Arkansas will join the ASUN for all sports beginning with the fall 2021 sports season. This news comes on the heels of four other Southland schools leaving the conference for the Western Athletic Conference to start up a new FCS football league as Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston State, Lamar, and Abilene Christian will make that move.
With Central Arkansas joining the league, the ASUN will also look to create a new football conference. North Alabama and Kennesaw State already are football playing members of the ASUN that compete in the FCS. Central Arkansas will join them as will three other football playing schools, Teague stated. Jacksonville State and Eastern Kentucky have been two that have been rumored to join Central Arkansas in the ASUN as soon as next season. Teague discussed on the Up Tempo radio show that this new football league could look to make a move to the FBS in the future.
Of course, Liberty plays in the ASUN for all sports other than football which competes at the FBS level as an Independent.
Central Arkansas was able to put together a 9-game football schedule despite their conference and the majority of the FCS moving the fall football season to the spring. The Bears finished the season at 5-4 while playing two FBS opponents in UAB and Arkansas State. UCA is currently 3-9 on the men’s basketball season and 2-2 in Southland play. The Bears are ranked No. 270 in KenPom’s rankings.