The Alcorn State football reign of terror in the SWAC East will soon be over.
The Mississippi school will soon be crossing over to the SWAC’s West Division, first reported by Samaria Terry. This move will take place starting in the fall of 2021 when Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman join the conference.
UPDATE: The SWAC has made it official.
The SWAC will officially expand from 10 teams to 12 teams starting July 1, 2021. Alcorn State will become the sixth team in the West, joining Prairie View A&M, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Texas Southern, Grambling State and Southern. The SWAC East will include FAMU and BCU as well as current members Mississippi Valley State, Jackson State, Alabama State and Alabama A&M.
Alcorn State has dominated the SWAC East in football, winning every division title since the 2014 campaign. It has won the SWAC four times in its six-year reign, including back-to-back titles the last two years. Those last two title games were played at home against Southern. The two could theoretically meet in a spring 2021 championship game, but after that, they will become division rivals.
Pulling Alcorn State out of the SWAC East means that its rivalry game against Jackson State will no longer be a divisional matchup. However, the teams could still play often or even annually, as crossover matchups. It also means that the other Mississippi football rivalry— Jackson State and Mississippi Valley — will continue to be a divisional rivalry matchup.
While football is the main focus (isn’t it always in the SWAC) the move means that Alcorn State will have to make bi-annual trips to Houston, Prairie View and Pine-Bluff as well as northern and southern Louisiana in all sports. It will be interesting to see how this impacts its travel budget and the ever-important amount of time out of class.