The Mountain West will not play its college football season this fall due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, an individual with knowledge of the league’s decision told USA TODAY Sports.
The individual spoke on the condition of anonymity because the conference has to make a public announcement.
The decision means the Mountain West becomes the second Bowl Subdivision conference to cancel its season, joining the MAC, which did so last week.
Those two leagues represent a significant portion of the Group of Five, which also includes the American, Conference USA and Sun Belt. All five leagues have faced a financial crunch due to members of the Power Five either eliminating non-conference games outright or, in the cases of the ACC and Big 12, allowing just one non-conference game under certain conditions.
The Mountain West, which includes Boise State, San Diego State, Air Force and others, has traditionally been of the strongest Group of Five leagues, rivaled only by the American. Both conferences annually compete for the automatic access-bowl bid to the New Year’s Six bowl format afforded to the top team from the Group of Five.
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Canceling the season raises doubts about the ability for Air Force to compete for the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy, the triangular rivalry pitting the Falcons against fellow service academies Army and Navy. Army is an independent program while Navy is a member of the American.