ODAC signs new football agreement for upcoming season

Published 5:21 pm Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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The Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) and the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) have announced a football scheduling agreement for the 2024 season. Week three of the Division III football calendar will now feature a series of crossover matchups between members from each conference.

“We are happy to partner with the SAA in this scheduling solution for the 2024 season,” said ODAC Commissioner Brad Bankston. “By working together, we’ve been able to accommodate the teams available for competition in week three. I look forward to watching these matchups play out this fall.”

H-SC had been scheduled to play Bridgewater College in a ‘designated non-conference’ home game, but will now welcome Centre (KY) College on Saturday, September 21, at 1 p.m. at Lewis C. Everett Stadium during Hall of Fame Weekend. The Colonels finished 2023 at 6-4 overall, 6-2 in the SAA. The Tigers also finished 2023 at 6-4 overall, while 4-3 in the ODAC, and lead the overall series against Centre, 15-6-1, though the Colonels won the most recent meeting, 51-41, in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Division III Playoffs in Danville, Kentucky. The two schools first played in 1927, then met 20 times between 1948-92, along with the playoff game in 2011. The College will induct the Hall of Fame Class of 2024 the night before (Sept. 20), and the special group of inductees will also be recognized at halftime on the 21st.

ODAC deal ‘provides solutions’

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The ODAC-SAA agreement provides solutions to different questions for each conference entering the 2024 campaign. The previously released ODAC schedule, which includes round-robin conference play for its eight football-sponsoring members, also featured a non-conference game in week three against another league member at the reverse location from their official ODAC matchup.

The SAA was left with vacancies in its conference framework following the announced closure of Birmingham Southern College. The league worked to realign its conference schedule to move all holes created by BSC’s exit into week three, which allows for the institutions that opted into the ODAC-SAA pact to participate in the scheduling agreement.

“We are grateful to our partners for working together to find a positive solution that met both of our needs,” said SAA Commissioner Stacey LaDew. “This 2024 football scheduling opportunity gives us a solution to a short-term issue and provides some marquee matchups on the gridiron across both leagues. I applaud our coaches and administrators for working together to find a positive solution to some unsavory issues.”

Looking at the games

The scheduling agreement includes the matchups posted below.

• Sewanee (SAA) at Guilford College (ODAC)

• Centre College (SAA) at Hampden-Sydney College (ODAC)

• Bridgewater College (ODAC) at Millsaps College (SAA)

• Berry College (SAA) at Randolph-Macon College (ODAC)

• Rhodes College (SAA) at Shenandoah University (ODAC)

• Washington and Lee University (ODAC) at Trinity (Texas) University (SAA)