Oregon State, Washington State and the Mountain West announced a football scheduling agreement Friday for the 2024 season that gives the two remaining Pac-12 schools six opponents each and positions them to operate as a two-team conference for at least a year.
All 12 Mountain West schools will be involved and Oregon State and Washington State will each play three home games and three road games against members of a conference that includes: Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, San Diego State, Wyoming, Nevada, UNLV, Wyoming, San Jose State, Utah State, Fresno State and New Mexico.
“We are still focused on re-building the Pac-12, and continue to prioritize the student-athlete experience at Oregon State,” Oregon State athletic director Scott Barnes said.
Barnes said a full football schedule will be released soon and will include five Power Five opponents, six from the Mountain West and one FCS school.
The Mountain West will play a seven-game conference schedule and the games against Oregon State and Washington State will not count against the league standings.
“This is a unique and unprecedented opportunity for Oregon State and Washington State to play against highly competitive Mountain West football programs in 2024,” Mountain West Commissioner Gloria Nevarez.
She said the agreement expands the conference’s footprint and strengthens its nonconference schedules.
Oregon State and Washington State are trying to plot a path forward after the Pac-12 was torn apart by conference realignment. Ten Pac-12 schools are joining new Power Five leagues in 2024.
Oregon State and Washington State want to rebuild the Pac-12. NCAA rules allow for a conference to be as small as two schools for a two-year period.
The Pacific Northwest schools are currently in a legal battle with the Pac-12 and the 10 departing schools to determine who runs the conference and has control over potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in assets.
“Today’s announcement provides both institutions clarity for the 2024 football season,” Washington State President Kirk Schulz said .
A person with knowledge of the discussions between the schools and conference told AP last month that the scheduling agreement could be expanded to other sports, including basketball, as the sides continue to explore options.
It is unclear how the additional games could impact the Mountain West’s television agreement with Fox and CBS, which runs through the 2025 football season.
The Pac-12 has no television contract in place beyond this season. The league’s failure to land a deal competitive with other Power Five conferences led eight schools to announce they were leaving this past summer.
The departures from the Pac-12 started in 2022 when Southern California and UCLA announced they would join the Big Ten in 2024.
Oregon State and Washington State sued the Pac-12 and departing members in September, claiming those schools relinquished a right to be on the conference board of directors and vote on league matters when the announced they were leaving.
The schools say they should still be able to vote until they officially leave in August of 2024.
A judge ruled last month in favor of Oregon State and Washington State, but the conference and departing schools have appealed to the Washington Supreme Court and t he lower’s court ruling has been put on hold.