(STATS) - The Southwestern Athletic Conference has permanently reinstated its football championship game and will move to an eight-game conference schedule beginning with the 2020 season.
The member schools' athletic directors and senior woman administrators voted on the moves during their annual spring meetings this past week in Biloxi, Mississippi.
The SWAC planned to eliminate its conference championship game - the only one on the FCS level - following the 2017 matchup, but it later reversed course and hosted one last year for the 20th straight season. Alcorn State beat Southern before 20,652 fans to advance to the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl.
"The championship game held this past season on the campus of Alcorn State University was truly an electric atmosphere and further highlighted the overall value of our league's title game as it relates to brand exposure, visibility and revenue generation," SWAC commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland said.
The 2019 championship game will again be held on the campus of the highest-seeded team following the regular season. A formal announcement regarding future sites of the championship games, previously held at a pre-determined, neutral stadium, as well as the men's and women's basketball championships will be announced at the conference's football media day July 16.
SWAC teams played a nine-game conference schedule as recently as the 2016 season before it was dropped to seven the last two years. It will remain at seven this season before increasing to eight next year.