San Jose State was set to challenge Penn State on September 19th before the Big Ten announced their schools would be pivoting to an in-conference only schedule due to the current pandemic. The announcement came Friday of last week and caught many in the college football world a bit off guard. We knew sporting activities would be drastically hindered by COVID-19, which is a rather small side effect when compared to the damage it has done across the globe.
The conference believes the move will increase its ability to protect its coaches, student-athletes, game officials, and all others involved by reducing the amount of travel and interactions they will face during their schedules. This move sets the table for the rest of the conferences, with the PAC-12 already stating they will also be cancelling every out of conference game for the 2020 season.
The Spartans would have faced the Nittany Lions for the first time in school history and had many fans excited for the matchup. Not only is the cancelation of the bout disappointing for fans, coaches, and players alike, but SJSU might be losing out on a payday of $1.5 million dollars from Penn State. No one is sure of what exactly will happen in regards to revenue for programs the Big Ten schools were arranged to play, but that is a substantial sum of funds the Spartans were counting on entering the year.
Currently, SJSU still has out of conference contests scheduled against Central Michigan (road), UC Davis (home), and UCONN (home), but now the status of each contest is up in the air. Even with so much uncertainty surrounding the upcoming season, many analysts and reporters are optimistic college football will return in some capacity come 2020.
Stay tuned for any further announcements and news regarding the Mountain West Conference and stay safe during these unprecedented times!