Games in question out as SWAC proceeds with schedules

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 17, 2004

LORMAN &8212; The latest news with Alcorn&8217;s football schedule for this fall is this: there is no news.

It&8217;s going to remain the same.

The SWAC office released a statement Thursday afternoon that calls for member schools to play a seven-game divisional schedule format approved by the council of presidents back on April 28.

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It also listed the member schools each school would play, and it called for Alcorn to play the seven it included on its revised schedule &8212; sans Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

ASU athletic director Robert Raines said school officials sent out the contract for the Sept. 11 non-conference home game against North Carolina A&T, the game initially set to be nixed had the Braves been forced to schedule UAPB.

&8220;We&8217;re going to go ahead and get that game,&8221; Raines said.

Alcorn keeps its Prince George Classic against Howard on Sept. 18 and can end the season in traditional fashion with the Capital City Classic against Jackson State on Nov. 20 and not have to play UAPB the week of Thanksgiving.

The conference also altered schedules for every school to play seven conferences games, including UAPB after it lost Alcorn and Southern University. The Lions picked up games against Mississippi Valley State and Jackson State to compensate for the two lost games.

The Texas Southern-Jackson State contest that was also dropped will not be played this fall.

It&8217;s a change in mindset from late last month when it appeared the council of presidents were ready to impose the mandate of each school to schedule games against all nine conference opponents and have all but two count in the conference standings.

That may be enforced for 2005 when the conference is scheduled to go to the new mandate, although the statement from Wallace Dooley in the SWAC office does not specifically state that.

&8220;Starting with the 2005 season the conference office will develop football scheduling principles and proposed schedules with the assistance of the conference members,&8221; the statement read.

The proposal worked out during the summer convention in Biloxi calls for each school to play the maximum nine SWAC games with seven to count in the standings &8212; four in the school&8217;s respective division and three against the top three teams in the opposite division.

&8220;I hope all the schools will buy into it,&8221; Raines said. &8220;We did have a situation where Southern could have played Arkansas-Pine Bluff, but they wanted to keep the open date (before) the Bayou Classic.&8221;