LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Central Arkansas might finish atop the
Southland Conference in football, but the league won't call the
In a move that's largely symbolic, the conference announced
yesterday that it's not allowed to designate Central Arkansas its
official champion this year.
The Southland said the NCAA might take away the league's
automatic bid to the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs if
the Bears were to be awarded the title.
Central Arkansas is in its third season in Division I and is
ineligible for the football postseason during the transition phase.
Still, the Bears had hoped to be crowned Southland champions. They
have a one-game lead in the standings with two games to play.
The Southland Conference was going to allow the Conway,
Arkansas, school to compete for the official conference title --
then give its automatic playoff spot to the next-highest eligible
team if Central Arkansas won. Today's announcement means the
league's official championship will go to that next-highest team if
the Bears finish first.
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