The Mountain West is going to play football in the fall.
The conference’s presidents voted Thursday night to start the 2020 season on Oct. 24. The decision comes on the same day the Pac-12 said that it would play football in the fall, though the Mountain West will start its season two weeks earlier.
Each team in the conference will play eight games and the conference will have its championship game the weekend of Dec. 19. That weekend is set to be filled with multiple conference title games including the Pac-12’s.
The MWC’s decision leaves the Mid-American Conference as the only conference at the top level of college football that’s not playing football in the fall. But the MAC could also change its mind. Its presidents are set to meet on Friday and could vote to play a six-game schedule in the fall.
The Mountain West was the second conference to postpone the football season in August, but more widespread testing availability has made its decision to start the season earlier easier.
With most — and maybe all — of the top level of college football playing football in 2020, the season will look sort of normal once November arrives. But that feeling of normal won’t be that strong. Fans will continue to be limited at some games and not allowed at others. And the season is set to go deeper into December than it typically does.
Oh, and it’s also no guarantee that teams will play every game on their schedules. There have already been 20 games canceled or postponed so far because of positive coronavirus tests within teams.
The NCAA’s Division I Football Oversight Committee also recommended Thursday that bowl eligibility requirements for teams be waived in 2020. That should become official in two weeks when the NCAA’s Division I Council votes on the recommendation. it remains unclear just how many bowls will be played in 2020 and when those bowls will be.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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