A week after the initial rumblings of the Mountain West discussing a return to football, the news was made official today. The conference will return to play October 24th.
More details are said to be coming out tomorrow and will be updated here, but here is what we know so far:
- The season will start on October 24th
- Teams will play eight conference games
- Conference championship will take place on December 19th.
- Is it unknown if Air Force and another team will play 7 conference games to keep the Air Force/Army game on November 3rd.
- Things are also subject to state boards for approval.
Throughout the pandemic, the MWC has seemed to follow whatever the PAC-12 is doing, which in turn follows whatever the Big Ten is doing.
UPDATES: (all via tweets from reporters such as B.J. Rains, Jay Tust, Chris Vannini, or the MWC account)
- Players, coaches and other on the field roles will be tested 3x a week in partnership with Quest Diagnostics. If a player tests positive from those rapid tests, then a PCR test will be given to confirm.
- Fans being allowed into the stadiums will be determined by individual schools in compliance with their local and state governments.
- A revised schedule is not set yet. This is potentially due to not all teams being officially cleared to play by their respective states. Or even have their players back on campus.
- Craig Thompson said there’s a chance Boise State could still play BYU this year. That would even out the Air Force Army game, with both schools playing 7 conference games and not playing one another. Later, Bryan Harsin said he wasn’t aware of that.
- Speaking of Air Force, the list of players who are using their turnback (not on the roster or at school this year, preserving a year of eligibility) is somewhere in the 30s, mostly on the defensive side of the ball.
- The Mountain West will cover the costs of testing for all 12 schools, which will be in the millions of dollars range. Apparently they have a reserve fund and the school presidents determine how and when it is used. Good for them.
- There will be enough games to satisfy the new media deal with Fox.
- Although Thompson anticipate all 12 schools to play, he acknowledges that not every program is on the same pace. Boise State for instance is starting practices on Saturday the 26th. Fresno State doesn’t even have their players on campus. He said it may be premature to say all 12 schools will play 8 games this season.
- There was a zoom call between the coaches. Although Calhoun and Arroyo weren’t on it, all the coaches were able to get on the same page and understood the importance of agreeing to certain things despite differing circumstances.
- Here is the official MWC release.
Once fall camp begins, expect an increase in content here at MWCConnection as we continue to bring you the most well-rounded MWC content on the internet.