Mountain West votes for football to return Oct. 24

Scott Nies

Mountain West football is back.

On Thursday night, the Mountain West Board of Directors approved an eight-game, conference-only schedule kicking off on Oct. 24. The season will culminate in the Mountain West title game, which is set to be played on Dec. 19.


The Mountain West is one of the latest conferences to join the Big Ten conference in changing their initial decision of indefinite postponement on fall sports.

The Pac-12 and Mid-American Conference will also be returning following announcements last week they will be playing football this fall. The Pac-12 will play a seven-game season commencing Nov. 6 and the MAC will play a six-game season starting on Nov. 4, both conference-only competition, according to ESPN.

The official update regarding the return of football on the Mountain West website indicated the conference’s partnership with Quest Diagnostics to be a significant reason as to why football can be played this fall.

“The agreement with Quest delivers frequent testing with rapid results, providing a major step forward for sport competition to resume,” the statement said. “The Mountain West will require all football student-athletes, coaches, trainers and other individuals that are on the field to undergo testing three times per week.”

While exciting, all promise of play is still contingent on state, county and local approvals.

The update does not mention concrete guidelines set forth by the conference in regards to how each program will handle fans for the new fall season.

Joe Parker, the Colorado State University athletic director, provided a CSU-centric update on the CSU Athletics website outlining how CSU looks to tackle the new season, likely doing so without fans.

“At this time, we do not anticipate that we will host fans for the four home games inside Canvas Stadium,” Parker said. “We will continue to work closely with our state, county and University health officials to evaluate if the current no-fan status can change at some point.”

While no official schedule for football has been announced yet, Parker provided updates on numerous other CSU sports and their return-to-play timeline:


  • “Basketball season may begin Nov. 25.
  • Volleyball season may take place Jan. 22, 2021 – April 3, 2021.
  • Cross Country season may take place Jan. 30, 2021 – March 5, 2021.
  • Women’s soccer season may take place Feb. 3, 2021 – April 17, 2021.”

Scott Nies can be reached at or on Twitter @scott_nies98.