|Franklin and Marshall athletics photo|
The Centennial Conference and the Middle Atlantic Conference announced Thursday that they are partnering for two postseason football games between member institutions. The Inaugural Centennial-MAC Bowl Series will involve the top two teams from each conference that are not selected to the NCAA Division III playoffs.
The top team from each conference that is not awarded a playoff bid will host the second best team from the opposing conference not moving on to NCAAs in one game of the series. The bowl games are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 21.
"Traditionally, the ECAC has provided postseason opportunities for our football teams in our area," said Ken Andrews, executive director of the MAC. "With the announcement that all ECAC bowl games would be held in Connecticut this fall, we felt that the significant financial impact that our member institutions would absorb would be prohibitive."
"This joint arrangement with the MAC is a win-win for all of our members," said Steve Ulrich, executive director of the Centennial Conference. "It will provide a postseason opportunity for deserving football players and teams while controlling our costs. We also have the added benefit of renewing old rivalries with a neighboring conference which is exciting for all involved."
The two conferences will also support the NCAA Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee partnership with Special Olympics by donating 25 percent of ticket revenue generated during the Bowl Series to the organization. Giving back to local and regional communities not only adds to the comprehensive learning component of Division III, but also provides a venue for passion and service.
The ECAC bowl games have had participants spanning from Maine to Western Pennsylvania. In the past, teams have been kept close to home and travel and financial impact has been kept to a minimum. This year, the ECAC consolidated all the games at Central Connecticut State in New Britain, Conn., meaning a team such as Carnegie Mellon, which has expressed interest in participating, will have to bus 463 miles to do so.
The deadline to apply for ECAC bowl games has already been extended once. Those games, if there are enough teams to fill them, will span from Friday, Nov. 20 to Sunday, Nov. 22.
NCAA rules permit a conference-sponsored postseason tournament – one between teams that are not identified until the end of the preceding regular season – not to exceed one contest for any one institution.