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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Report: Washington State, Oregon State moving toward scheduling partnership with Mountain West

Washington State wide receiver Kyle Williams hauls in a pass against Oregon State defensive back Jermod McCoy during the first half of a Pac-12 game Sept. 23 at Gesa Field in Pullman.  (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)

PULLMAN – Washington State is working toward finalizing its football scheduling plans.

WSU and Oregon State have re-engaged with Mountain West officials about a two-year scheduling alliance, a deal that may lead to long-term partnership, according to a new report from Yahoo Sports.

The so-called “Pac-2” schools and Mountain West are believed to be close to an agreement, according to the report, but no deal is complete and the Washington State Supreme Court has put on hold the preliminary junction granted to WSU and OSU in Whitman County Superior Court on Tuesday.

The most likely agreement includes a “7+1” format, in which Mountain West teams play seven conference games, then one against either Washington State or Oregon State. Those teams would rotate the matchup against WSU or OSU home-and-away over the two-year plan.

This agreement (football-only for now), which is believed to feature a lucrative financial package for Mountain West members, is likely to include a long-term commitment to the Mountain West, with parties angling for a full merger after these two years. Part of the deal would include a financial penalty against OSU and WSU if the programs attempt to acquire only some of the MW schools.

Washington State and Oregon State, using a two-year NCAA grace period granted to conferences falling below the eight member minimum, need to finalize their 2024 and 2025 football schedules. A deal with the Mountain West would provide a faster route to that end, and as many as seven opponents each year.

The Pac-2 schools are also expected to negotiate their own broadcasting agreements, separate from MWC TV partners Fox and CBS Sports Network. The Pac-12’s TV deal with ESPN and Fox will end after this academic year.