Question No. 1. What and where is Bacone College?
It’s a four-year liberal arts institution, affiliated athletically with the NAIA, in Muskogee, Okla., originally established by the American Baptist Convention in the state as a mission to Native Americans.
Question No. 2. Why is the University of Central Arkansas opening its home football against the Warriors?
The short answer is Bacone was the only college available that would accept a one-year contract.
“We searched far and wide for an opponent to try and find someone who would take a one-year contract to play here,” said UCA coach Clint Conque. “There are not many schools who are willing to come to your place for one year.
“We had to have a one-year contract this year knowing that UT Martin and Missouri State are coming on the schedule in the future with multi-year contracts and that (Southland Conference) expansion is coming down the line. We would have to pay an (NCAA) Division II institution $200,000 and an NAIA team $40,000. It worked out best with Bacone.”
The Warriors come into the game at 1-2. The contest is not only the Bears’ first home game at First Security Field at Estes Stadium but the new skybox suites on the east side of the stadium will be dedicated before the game and will be officially opened to corporate sponsors.
The Bears come into the game 1-1 after a loss to Division I FBS Ole Miss and a victory over FCS Murray State last week.
In preparation, Conque has ignored Bacone’s NAIA affiliation.
“Any time, you play a team that is giving out scholarships and paying coaches, you pay attention,” Conque said.
The Warriors have several non-traditional students, which means some of the players may be older than the usual college student.
“We are concentrating on who we are and what we’re doing,” Conque said. “This is a wonderful opportunity to improve as a football team.”
Next week, the Bears are at home with their SLC opener — against defending national runner-up and preseason favorite Sam Houston State.
“But this week, Bacone has our full and 100 percent attention,” Conque said.
Bacone College (1-2) at UCA (1-1)
Time: 6 p.m.
Place: First Secuerity Field at Estes Stadium
Coaches: Clint Conque, UCA, 13th season, 90-52; Trevor Rubly, Bacone, second season, 6-8
Media: UCA Sports Network (KUCA 91.3 FM, Y107.1 and The Heartbeat, 106.7) Online at www.ucasports.com
Good to know: UCA is 12-0 in home openers under Clint Conque