The WAC and ASUN announced on Wednesday they will continue and expand their partnership "in 2022 and beyond."
If this partnership sounds familiar, it is because the two conferences combined in the fall of 2021 calling it the AQ7 to give them instant auto-bid status. This partnership was expected to last only a year before splitting into their own conferences in 2022. However, due to realignment and losing members, the partnership is back for 2022.
During the 2022 season, the ASUN will have a total of six members with five of them being playoff-eligible. Those five are Austin Peay, Central Arkansas, Eastern Kentucky, Kennesaw State, and North Alabama. Jacksonville State is heading to the FBS in 2023 and therefore not playoff-eligible.
On the other side, the WAV has eight total members with five of them being playoff eligible. Those five are Abilene Christian, Incarnate Word, Lamar, Southern Utah, and Stephen F. Austin. Tarleton State and Utah Tech (formerly Dixie State) are transitioning up from D2. Sam Houston is moving up to the FBS in 2023.
The 2022 season was expected to have 12 AQs and 12 at-large bids as the WAC and ASUN were going to become their own leagues. However, with their renewed partnership, the 2022 playoff bracket will have 11 AQs and 13 at-large bids. Going into the 2023 season (if nothing changes), the bracket will be back down to 10 AQs and 14 at-large bids due to the Big South and OVC forming a football association for a single auto-bid.