Playoff format and regular season schedule announced
(HALIFAX, N.S.) - Atlantic University Sport held a press conference today in Halifax for the official signing of the agreement which will see the Bishop's Gaiters join in the Atlantic conference football league beginning in the 2017 season.
This marks the first time since 1990 that a new team has entered the AUS football conference.
Bishop's Gaiters associate athletic director Joey Sabo and new head football coach Chérif Nicolas travelled from Lennoxville, Que. for the signing of the official agreement Monday.
"We are proud to have this opportunity to participate in the AUS," said Sabo. "We strongly believe in the student-athlete experience and we feel that in the sport of football, we can offer that opportunity to our Gaiter student-athletes."
Sabo and Nicolas met yesterday on behalf of Bishop's with AUS football chair and executive director Phil Currie, as well as head coaches and athletic directors from existing AUS football member schools to finalize the 2017 schedule and discuss playoff format and other outstanding details.
"Today marks the first time in 27 years that we have been able to expand our AUS football conference," said Currie. "This landmark event has been made possible through a tremendous amount of cooperation and diligence on the part of all of our—now five—AUS football members. Our philosophical alignment with Bishop's paves the way for additional growth."
Beginning in the 2017 season, AUS regulations will be changed to allow for each team to play one out-of-conference exhibition game.
Each of the conference's five teams will play eight regular season games over the course of a 10-week schedule.
The regular season will kick off two weeks earlier than it did last season, with opening night set for Friday, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. The two-time reigning champion StFX X-Men will visit the Saint Mary's Huskies in Halifax, N.S.
The Acadia Axemen will then visit the 2016 runners-up—the Mount Allison Mounties—Saturday, Aug. 26 at 2 p.m. in Sackville, N.B.
The newcomer Bishop's Gaiters will see their first regular season action the following weekend when they visit the Acadia Axemen for an afternoon game on Saturday, Sept. 2.
On Saturday, Sept. 23, Mount Allison will host the Saint Mary's Huskies in their homecoming game. Bishop's will host their own homecoming game that same day versus the StFX X-Men.
StFX's own homecoming game will take place the following weekend. They will host Saint Mary's Sept. 30.
Saint Mary's and Acadia will both host their homecoming games Saturday, Oct. 14. The Huskies will host the Gaiters, while the Axemen host StFX.
Regular season play will wrap up with two games on Saturday, Oct. 28. Saint Mary's will host Mount Allison, while StFX hosts Bishop's.
AUS playoffs are set to begin the following weekend. The playoff format will see the second-seeded team host the third-seeded team Saturday, Nov. 4 in the playoff semifinal.
The winner will advance to the 2017 Subway AUS Loney Bowl which will be played Saturday, Nov. 11 and be hosted by the top-seeded team.
The AUS champion will then move on to host the 2017 U Sports Uteck Bowl, Saturday, Nov. 18, versus the Ontario University Athletics conference champion.
The Mitchell Bowl and Uteck Bowl winners will advance to play each other in the 53rd Vanier Cup on Saturday, Nov. 25. The national final will be hosted at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Ont. The time of the game has yet to be set.
The complete 2017 Atlantic University Sport football schedule is available here.
All AUS regular season and playoff football games will be available via live webcast at www.AUStv.ca.