No Big Sky Conference sports in the fall


"The health and safety of our students is our top priority, and ultimately that concern guided our decision-making process over the past few months as we explored every option regarding the 2020 football season", said Andy Feinstein, president of the University of Northern Colorado and chair of the Big Sky Presidents' Council.

"I'm heartbroken we are in this place", MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said.

But with the SEC and notably the Big Ten deciding to play only within their conference, the only MAC games left on the schedule against the Power Five were Buffalo at Kansas State, Ball State at Iowa State, Miami at Pitt, Ohio at Boston College and Western Michigan at Notre Dame.

Now, before we jump off the college football bridge, it must be noted that non-Power Five schools canceling the season is more a product of no ability to make things work from a fiscal perspective.

The MAC has not announced a decision for winter sports at this time. Without them, the strain became too great of trying to implement all that it would take to keep players and staff safe during a pandemic.

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Hero Sports and Football Championship Subdivision football expert Brian McLaughlin, Stadium's Brett McMurphy and longtime Oregonian columnist John Canzano posted tweets Thursday that Big Sky football was a no-go this fall, but conference officials refuted to other sources that nothing was official.

The NCAA Board of Governors announced Wednesday that if at least 50% of the country's FCS programs planned to pursue a fall season, it would sanction a postseason, but that was before the Big Sky and Frontier League reportedly opted out. The league has "begun exploring modified versions of a conference football schedule to be played in the spring and fully supports the NCAA shifting the FCS championship to the spring", according to the release.

But in FBS, conferences have been putting plans in place to - however tentative - for the coming season.

North Dakota State, which is part of the Missouri Valley Conference, has the most FCS championships, winning eight of the last nine titles, including in 2019. A meeting of its presidents earlier in the week was expected to produce an agreement on how to go about a fall season, but instead some schools pushed to not play.