Football’s coming back in February.
The Big Sky Conference announced on Nov. 4 the 2021 spring football schedule, which kicks off on Feb. 27 against Idaho State in Pocatello.
The season features 12 teams playing six conference games over a stretch of eight weeks, from Feb. 27 to April 10. Two dates have been allotted with no games scheduled, in case COVID-19 necessitates rescheduling.
In the first three and last three weeks of the season, each team plays at least one home game and one away game. Every team will also face at least three opponents who were on their original fall 2020 schedule.
The spring schedule was designed to keep rivalry games in place while also limiting travel.
“This schedule provides consistency by utilizing much of the original fall 2020 slate, flexibility by allowing space for games to be rescheduled, and sensibility by prioritizing regional matchups that minimize travel and expenses,” Commissioner Tom Wistrcill said in a statement on the conference’s website.
The Big Sky is not allowing teams to play non-conference games in the spring. 2020 NCAA Division I Fall championships were approved by the NCAA Board of Directors to be played in the spring.
Each school’s stadium capacity will follow the guidelines of the local or state health ordinances.
The season’s return gives the Wildcats the chance to make the FCS Playoffs for a fifth season in a row; they’ve made the playoffs the last four seasons.
Eleven automatic qualifiers and five at-large teams will make up the 16-team FCS Playoffs.
On April 18, the FCS bracket will be announced, with the champion being decided between May 14 to 16.
“I am confident that all who care about our conference share in the sentiment that we cannot wait to watch our student-athletes and coaches compete for a Big Sky title and contend for the FCS championship,” Wistrcill said in the statement.
Sacramento State was the lone school to opt out of the 2021 spring schedule.