Tue, Jul. 12, 2011 - [Football] - Viewed 1829 times
Wichita, Kan. -
The Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) and the Heart of America Athletic Conference
(HAAC) football coaches and commissioners have come to an agreement on a series of football games played between teams from each league starting with the 2013 season.
The landmark agreement between two of the legendary NAIA football conferences would pair teams based on their conference finish from the previous season. The KCAC teams would host the first set of non-conference games on September 14, 2013 with the HAAC representatives playing host the following season.
"We are pleased with the fine work done by the coaches of both conferences in the development of this historic agreement," said Dr. Scott Crawford, commissioner of the KCAC, and commissioner Larry Lady of the HAAC.
"This gives schools a chance to play against a like opponent that they would be very competitive against," said Benedictine College head coach Larry Wilcox. "It perhaps puts a little more importance on the teams who finished in first or second (place) because that game could be against a school they would be competing against for a playoff spot."
"These early season match-ups will be great for both the HAAC and the KCAC as both conferences boast strong football programs," commented Ottawa University head coach Kent Kessinger. "These games will definitely have national rating implications."
"This is a great opportunity for two highly competitive conferences to come together and build an annual rivalry," said Jonathan Quinn, head coach at defending HAAC champion MidAmerica Nazarene University. "It should be fun for the teams as well as the fans, especially with the proximity of the schools involved."
With the HAAC seeing its membership change from 11 teams to 10 on July 1, 2011, the agreement helps HAAC teams fill an additional slot on their schedules.
"We are very excited about the possibility of playing non-conference games and the KCAC is a natural fit," said Missouri Valley College head coach Paul Troth. "We already have an agreement to open our season with KCAC champion McPherson College in 2011 and 2012."
One of the primary intents of the scheduling arrangement is to ease overall scheduling for teams from both conferences. Based on the agreement, teams will have one additional non-conference game to schedule prior to the KCAC-HAAC matchups. Following the series game each year, both leagues will move into their respective conference schedules and play nine consecutive weeks of league games.
"This alliance blends well with the KCAC's recently adjusted schedule allowing member institutions to play the 11-game maximum schedule as allowed by the NAIA," emphasized Crawford. "Conference members will only need to arrange for their eleventh game now that ten are accounted for each season."
"This is a great opportunity for both leagues to help with scheduling," said Southwestern College head coach Ken Crandall. "Even better than that, it gives each individual institution a way to have both a competitive and marketable matchup early in the season."
"Most importantly, this opens up an opportunity for the HAAC and the KCAC to play schools that are close geographically," said Wilcox, who is entering his 33rd season in charge of the Ravens' program. "It also opens for all schools the chance to play schools that are like in size and like in nature and could create some new rivalries for both conferences.
For the upcoming 2011 season, there are four HAAC-KCAC matchups on the schedule featuring: Ottawa at Baker on August 27 in the 2011 Victory Sports Network
1st Down Classic; Benedictine at Sterling and McPherson at Missouri Valley on September 3; and Bethany at Avila on October 1.
In the only game played between the two conferences during the 2010 season, KCAC member Ottawa earned a 24-14 win over Baker of the HAAC in the Victory Sports Network 1st Down Classic.