With the first full season on ASUN football just five months away, all six teams have been busy with recruiting and spring camps. The conference is already producing some buzz in its inaugural campaign for an automatic bid to the playoffs.
ASUN in the Rankings
Recently, FCS expert Craig Haley ranked the conferences going into the 2022 season. He listed the ASUN as ranked fifth in the nation largely based on five out of six of the teams being ranked in the FCS Top 25 during the 2021 season.
Four of those teams started out in the preseason STATS FCS Top 25 poll with Jacksonville State at 10, Central Arkansas at 14, Kennesaw State at 19, and Austin Peay at 20. The Gamecocks were ranked for the first six weeks peaking at #9, while the Bears and Governors were in the first four weeks of the poll. APSU peaked at #17 in week two. Eastern Kentucky entered the Top 25 taking the final slot during the eighth and ninth weeks of the season. Of course, the Owls were ranked every week of the season peaking at #9 in week 11 as they faced off with Monmouth for the Big South conference title.
On the Schedule
Many of us were eager to see the fall schedules and Jacksonville State got things started off in January when they announced their final FCS schedule. The Gamecocks are eligible for the conference title but not to participate in the playoffs.
The rest of the ASUN announced their schedules later in February. There are several FBS games on the combined schedules with Eastern Kentucky playing two to begin their 2022 campaign as the Colonels face Eastern Michigan and Bowling Green. Kennesaw State opens up on the road at Samford before visiting Cincinnati the following week.
The Lions of North Alabama open up on the road at Indiana State and finish at Memphis. Conference newcomers Austin Peay starts their year on the road at Western Kentucky and finishes the season in Tuscaloosa against Alabama. Central Arkansas has not yet released its full schedule.
Spring has Sprung
Preparation for the fall season has begun as many teams have started spring practices. Even more than player evaluations and fundamental drills, the spring is a time for team-building. Austin Peay had NFL legend Darrell Green stop by to share his words of wisdom with the Governors team.
Most of the Spring Games around the conference are in April but UNA is hosting theirs this week. North Alabama will host their intrasquad contest at the Bill Jones Athletic Complex on campus including a fireworks show and an appearance by current American Idol contestant Cadence Baker. She is the granddaughter of Muscle Shoals songwriter Gary Baker who wrote “I Swear” which was a mega-hit of the 90s.
Are You Ready?
Sound off on your thoughts about any and everything ASUN Football on our forums!