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Mountain West Announces 8-Game Football Season Beginning Oct. 24

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIISeptember 25, 2020

Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin has water dumped on him after winning the Mountain West Championship over Hawaii in a NCAA college football game for the Mountain West Championship Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in Boise, Idaho. Boise State won 31-10. (AP Photo/Steve Conner)
Steve Conner/Associated Press

The Mountain West became the latest FBS conference to reverse course and announce a truncated football season. The league made the decision official in a tweet Thursday evening: 

Teams will compete in an eight-game schedule with play beginning October 24, pending approval from state, local and county officials. 

The Mountain West Championship Game is now scheduled for December 19. 

Earlier on Thursday, the Pac-12 announced it was resuming fall sports with college football beginning a seven-game schedule November 6.

A full announcement on the return of football is expected Friday morning. 

On August 10, the conference said it was indefinitely postponing all fall sports and championships events "in response to ongoing challenges with the effective mitigation and management of the COVID-19 virus in conjunction with athletic competition."

At the time, the league said it would explore the "feasibility" of rescheduling fall sports with a spring season as a possibility. 

"Numerous external factors and unknowns outside our control made this difficult decision necessary," MWC commissioner Craig Thompson said in August. "I fully understand the impact of this outcome on our student- athletes, coaches, administrators and staff who work so hard daily to play the sports we all love, and I share in their disappointment. We will continue to navigate this pandemic together, overcome the obstacles and return to intercollegiate athletics at the earliest opportunity.”

That opportunity presented itself much sooner than originally anticipated. 

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Just how many programs will be able to field full football teams remains to be seen. 

According to Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic, all 12 Mountain West schools are going to try playing, but some schools "still have work to do" to get to that point, including receiving approval from local officials.