Washington State University and Oregon State University are in the process of finalizing a deal with the Mountain West in regards to the 2024 football season. Ross Dellenger of Yahoo! Sports reports the deal includes a financial package given to the current schools in the Mountain West Conference, and we should get word of all the specifics this week.
Here’s what we know so far- the MWC should expect a payday somewhere in the ballpark of $14 million, with an option to include the 2025 season as well.
Right now, as mentioned, the deal only covers football. Many of us have pivoted to thinking about other sports (myself included), but in case you’re already looking forward to next year’s football season, here’s what that might look like.
Rather than play eight conference games, as the MW schools are used to now, the existing conference will play seven games against each other, and will option one game with either WSU or OSU. If either of the Pac-2 schools are already on a MWC teams existing schedule, they’ll get to play both by keeping the original “non-conference” game as scheduled against team A, and adding what I’m calling a “guest appearance” against team B.
For us, the Pac-2 won’t be competing in the Mountain West Championship, and will still be operating under the technical umbrella of the Pac-12. We’re used to conferences underselling the quantity of colleges they broadcast, Big-10 I’m looking at you, but two to twelve is a big jump, only in name.
Does this mean we are for sure joining the Mountain West?
Does this mean we aren’t for sure joining the Mountain West?
We are essentially dating the Mountain West for a year, but the date costs $14 million dollars. MWC wants to be in a relationship, for sure, but we’re doing that thing where we’re keeping our options open, even though I think we’ll probably end up there and that might cause some tension in the relationship forever, to the tune of “you never really wanted to be with me, you always liked my older, more conventionally attractive sibling more!” And do you blame me? Kidding, honey.
Both conferences do exercise the right to either ask to continue the partnership going into 2025, or go forward with another option, not unlike real relationships! However, 2025 would mean another $14 mil to the MW, so it just depends on what the Pac-2 want to spend. Ideally, they’ll be flush with cash from the lawsuit, but from my mouth to God’s ear, as they say.
Be ready for a lot of Fox and CBS broadcasts, along with MCWTV. Time to download a new app on my phone, I suppose! While Oregon State and Washington State are unified on a lot of fronts, they’re going in on their own for broadcast deals for home games, so if you’re a Beav and you somehow found yourself here (hello, for one), you’re on your own for figuring that out.
The Pac-2 needed to act quickly, which we all knew, as the two year grace period given by the NCAA will ultimately fly by in businessman-land. This seems like a decent bandaid for stalling until we either join the Mountain West fully, or are able to tap six more schools up to make the quota for an eight-school Power 5 conference again.
Ultimately, there are things we won’t know yet. Some of those are tied up with the recent decision the Washington Supreme Court made to push an emergency stay on whether or not WSU and OSU should have full control of voting (which puts the former 10 schools back on the board), and we’ll know more about that on or before December 12th.
I’ll let you determine how you want to interpret all of this information. I, personally, would like to put my head in a bucket of ice water for a solid 12 seconds.
We’ll be sure to update you once we know the drill.
At the end of the day, it’s always Go Cougs (and Go Beavs).