“We’re back!” Mountain West Conference football announced with a graphic and video on social media today.
The 12-member conference that the University of Hawaii calls home said it will play an eight-game schedule beginning Oct. 24 and run through Dec. 19, pending approval from state and county officials.
The MWC’s return was announced three hours after the Pac-12 confirmed its return.
The schedule was not immediately announced.
The vote by the conference Board of Directors reversed an Aug. 10 ruling by the same body that the 2020 fall season would be postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.
That left the MWC as one of four Football Bowl Subdivision conferences on the sidelines. Six others had already started play or are scheduled to begin competition this week.
But following a Sept. 16 reversal by the Big Ten, which cited improvements made in virus testing and tracing, the MWC, Pac-12 and Mid-American conferences announced intentions to reevaluate their positions.
On Monday MWC athletic directors presented a proposal to the Board of Directors, which is composed of presidents of the football-playing members. New, rapid-testing procedures were said to be a key element of the proposal.
Without playing football this season, the MWC would not be able to fully collect on the first year of the six-year, $270 million TV rights agreement it signed with CBS Sports and Fox in January.
In addition, it would not have a team considered for the lucrative New Year’s Six bowl appearance that goes to the highest Group of 5 conference teams in the College Football Playoff rankings.
UH finished 10-5 in 2019, winning the West Division of the MWC and the Hawaii Bowl. When head coach Nick Rolovich left for Washington State in January he was succeeded by Todd Graham.