The Mountain West voted to reverse its initial decision and begin its football season this fall, the league announced Thursday evening. Teams will play an eight-game schedule, with games beginning on Oct. 24 and the conference title game happening on Dec. 19.
The Mountain West did not clarify whether all 12 members would participate in the season. The league will reportedly reveal additional details on Friday, per Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic.
The news comes hours after the Pac-12 announced it would also be playing football this fall. The Pac-12 will play a seven-game schedule and begin on Nov. 6. The plan is for all 12 schools to try to play, though Auerbach reports the schools “still have some work to do” to reach that point.
The Mountain West announced the postponement of fall sports on Aug. 10, saying it would “explore the feasibility of rescheduling fall sports competition.” The vote came just a day after the Big Ten and Pac-12 reached the same decision, with each conference looking to hold their football seasons in spring 2021.
“Since the start of the pandemic, our membership and staff have been working diligently to prepare for a fall sports season,” Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson said at the time. “We were hopeful we could carefully and responsibly conduct competition as originally scheduled with essential protocols in place. However, numerous external factors and unknowns outside our control made this difficult decision necessary”
The Big Ten voted last week to change its initial decision and start a shortened season on the weekend of Oct. 23–24. The league cited “daily antigen testing, enhanced cardiac screening and an enhanced data-driven approach when making decisions about practice/competition,” as reasons behind its decision to play a fall season.
The Mountain West was the second conference to postpone its fall football season, following the MAC.