The Mountain West made schedule changes on August 5th and while no official schedule has yet to be announced, the Mountain West has announced that they will delay football and other fall sports such as cross country, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball until September 26th and the latter will have conference only schedules. Mountain West football will take on an 8+2 model, meaning eight conference games and two non-conference.
Updates regarding 2020 Football and Fall Sports have been announced. pic.twitter.com/tONFKLWlCC— Mountain West (@MountainWest) August 5, 2020
What this means is that the season opener for Utah State at home against Southern Utah that was planned for September 12 would be difficult to reschedule. In addition, the Big Sky Conference has reportedly announced that its members, including Southern Utah, will play a conference only schedule in the Spring of 2021 and it is likely that the game would be cancelled for this reason. Utah State was slated to begin the season at home in an anticipated game against Washington State on September 5th and the Aggies were also going to have a game just weeks later against the Washington Huskies in Seattle, but due to COVID-19, the PAC-12 announced plans to play a conference only schedule.
With the announcement of the Mountain West delaying fall sports until September 26th, Utah State may end up opening the season in Provo against rival BYU as this is the next game on Utah State’s schedule. There has been no conformation on Utah State potentially opening at BYU and Utah State’s plans to make up the lost Southern Utah game (if lost) are unclear, however since the Mountain West announced an 8+2 schedule, it seems reasonable that the Aggies would attempt to find a team out of conference who will come play in Logan. The game may take place on the weekend of September 26th since the Aggies currently do not have an opponent for that weekend if the Big Sky delays, but only time will tell.
One possibility is to fill the potential open slot with an American Conference team as the American Conference plans to have a 12 game football season and there are teams lacking non-conference opponents such as Memphis and Cincinnati. Memphis plays UTSA on September 26th however Cincinnati has an open date, so it might be possible to move the open date to another week and travel to Logan as the AAC title game could be held on December 5th, 12th, or 19th which is the same plan as the Mountain West. Another option may be a team from the C-USA Conference that needs to replace a non-conference opponent.
It is hard to tell what will happen from now until the beginning of the Mountain West season on September 26th and and there is certainly a lot of unknowns on how the season will play out beyond September 26th. More information will come as Utah State makes a decision on the reportedly lost non-conference game and the Mountain West releases a schedule for each team.