The two remaining members of the Pac-12 Conference, the Oregon State Beavers and Washington State Cougars, are moving forward with plans for a football scheduling alliance with the Mountain West Conference, Ross Dellenger of Yahoo Sports has reported.
As a result of 10 Pac-12 members leaving for other conferences next season, Oregon State and Washington State were left on their own to either rebuild the conference or form a partnership with another conference, such as the Mountain West.
On Tuesday, the two schools secured a victory in court that gives them “…control of Pac-12 governance and assets — an estimated $400 million this year.” However, that decision is stayed until attorneys from the 10 departing Pac-12 schools can file an appeal.
In the meantime, Oregon State and Washington State have resumed discussions with the Mountain West that could result in a football scheduling alliance for at least the 2024 and 2025 seasons. Below are the details from the Yahoo Sports report:
Though there are many scheduling models, the most likely is what’s termed a “7+1” format where Mountain West teams play seven conference games — not eight — plus one game against either Washington State or Oregon State. They would rotate the game against either OSU or WSU home-and-away over the two-year cycle.
Games against OSU and WSU are not expected to count toward the league standings. The two Pac-12 members will not be eligible for the MWC championship and will compete as quasi-independents under the Pac-12 banner.
Those Mountain West schools with previously scheduled non-conference games against one of the two schools will play the other as well during the same season. For instance, San Diego State has games scheduled against Washington State, at home in 2024 and on the road in 2025. In the model, the Aztecs’ would likely play Oregon State both years as well.
Three more schools would play two games against the Pac-12 duo in a single season because they have previously scheduled games, including Boise State (Oregon State, 2024), Fresno State (Oregon State, 2025) and San Jose State (Washington State, 2024).
The Mountain West Conference previously announced its football schedule rotation for the 2023 season through the 2025 season. An alliance with Oregon State and Washington State would obviously alter that format.
Although nothing has been finalized, an agreement between the Pac-12 and the Mountain West appears to be close. An announcement could come later this week or next week.
A complete Mountain West football schedule for the 2024 season will most likely be released in February or March 2024. The schedule for the 2023 season was announced on March 2.