Big South and OVC Form Partnership to Steady Themselves

To offset the losses in their football programs, the Big South and Ohio Valley Conferences will combine into one FCS league beginning in 2023.

Ohio Valley Conference and Big South Conference forum partnership
Source: OVC Athletics

The Big South Conference and Ohio Valley Conference announced yesterday that they would form a partnership to begin with the 2023 football season.

This offseason, conference realignment has been the topic of conversation almost every month. The Big South has lost Presbyterian, North Carolina A&T, Hampton, Monmouth, Kennesaw State, and North Alabama, and the OVC has lost Jacksonville State, Eastern Kentucky, Austin Peay, and Murray State in the last year.

A conference needs at least six teams to have an auto-big into the FCS Playoffs and the aforementioned losses puts both conferences under that minimum. This new association will feature the nine teams from both conferences. The Big South brings four, Campbell, Charleston Southern, Gardner-Webb, and Robert Morris, and the OVC brings five in Eastern Illinois, SEMO, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech, and UT Martin.

In the coming months, the association's structure, administration, and 2023 schedule should be finalized.