After a disappointing 1-5 finish in their shortened fall season, the ACU Wildcats return to the field with hopes of improving as they move to the Western Athletic Conference.
One of the intriguing headlines for ACU is who will earn the starting quarterback job as Payton Mansell and Stone Earle compete for the spot during the offseason.
In 2020, ACU had two players honored as All-Southland Conference first teamers, Quent Titre and Jeremiah Dobbins. While Titre graduated last year, Dobbins returns as a threat in the run game for the Wildcats rushing for 227 yards and five touchdowns.
Texas Football Magazine picks the Wildcats to finish 7th in the conference out of nine teams. ACU joins the WAC with four other former Southland competitors including Sam Houston, Central Arkansas, SFA and Lamar. The defending FCS champion Bearkats are picked to win the conference. That’s what’s happening in the WAC, here’s Dan with a look at the American Southwest Conference.
At the Division 3 level, the American Southwest Conference played their season in the spring earlier this year.
The Hardin-Simmons Cowboys finished with a 4-1 record, and were undefeated heading into the conference championship game, but fell just short to Mary-Hardin Baylor 23 to 15, with the title on the line.
There’s a great deal of optimism surrounding Head Coach Jesse Burleson’s squad, because the majority of the starters on both sides of the ball are returning for this upcoming season.
According to Texas Football Magazine the Cowboys are picked right behind reigning conference champion Mary-Hardin Baylor. East Texas Baptist sits at number three, Texas Lutheran at four, and the Howard Payne Yellow Jackets at #5.
In the spring the Yellow Jackets finished 2-3 under first year head coach Jason Bachtel. Quarterback Landon McKinney led the American Southwest Conference in passing and earned Freshman of the Year Honors.
Texas Football Magazine has the McMurry War Hawks ranked 6th heading in the 2021 season. After going winless in 2019, this spring the War Hawks went 2-3.
As head coach Jordan Neal continues to rebuild McMurry’s program and instill a winning culture, the War Hawks will continue to rely on freshman and sophomores to do a lot of the heavy lifting.
For the rest of the conference, Texas Football Magazine has Belhaven at #7, Sul Ross State at #8, Austin College at #9, and Southwestern rounds out the list at #10.