The Mountain West was the last conference to release their 2023 football schedule, but now that we have it, we can offer thoughts and observations.
Check out the release of the schedule here:
A few thoughts:
- 3 teams play during Week 0, so the MWC season will start early for some fans
- The first conference game of the season looks to be Week 3 between Air Force and Utah State
- Boise State, Hawaii, and San Diego State are all scheduled to play a Friday game as of now. San Jose State’s Labor Day weekend contest against Oregon State will actually be on a Sunday.
- Week 4’s matchup between Boise State and San Diego State comes during a grueling stretch for both teams. The Aztecs go UCLA, Oregon State, Boise State, then the triple option attack of the Falcons. For the Broncos, they will already have had games against Washington and UCF before a bit of a break against North Dakota, but then play SDSU and Memphis in the first month.
- Air Force gets two home games sandwiched around their bye week.
- San Diego State opens with three straight home games to start the year (Ohio, Idaho State, and then UCLA). Likewise, Wyoming gets to play three straight home games end of September into October. They travel to Appalachian State, New Mexico, and Fresno State.
- Both Nevada and New Mexico both have two different sets of back-to-back road games on their schedule. They all actually take place the same weeks at the end of September and then mid-November.
- Air Force has to go triple option (Navy), air-raid (CSU), triple option (Army), run-and-shoot (Hawaii) during a four-game stretch.
- No team has a bye week at the exact midway point of the season (Week 7/October 14th). However, 6 teams have a bye the week before, and 3 teams has a bye the week after. SDSU and SJSU are taking an extra bye due to playing Week 0, while Hawaii is not.
- Colorado State has the earliest bye week, coming in Week 2 of the season. San Jose State has the latest bye on Week 10, but they also have one in Week 6.
- A reminder that this will be the first football season without divisions. It caught my eye that there is some potential that matchups between Air Force and Boise State, as well as Fresno State and San Diego State have a small chance of being rematches the next week in the MWC championship, or at least de facto semifinal games. Not saying that will happen, but those were basically the top 4 teams last year and these games could serve as elimination games or create a weird scenario of the same teams playing each other twice in a row. Something to keep an eye on.
- Also, it appears that the Mountain West is moving away from having traditional rivalries over Thanksgiving weekend. There is no Border War of Fremont Canon game. The only real rivalry game that week is the Oil Can game between the Aztecs and Bulldogs.
- The Championship game will be in early December.