“The Big Sky and Missouri Valley Football Conferences have a great history of football success," says Andrea Williams, Commissioner of the Big Sky Conference. "It was important to both leagues to highlight and promote the outstanding achievements of our players, coaches and programs. This year will be no different, with top teams in the country meeting in great non-conference matchups.”
"The history of games between these two great FCS conferences is long and strong and it's wonderful to give these games even more significance with this Big Sky/MVFC Challenge Series," notes Patty Viverito, Commissioner of the MVFC. "Inter-conference FCS match-ups featuring nationally ranked teams make the football season more interesting and meaningful for teams and fans alike."
This year, a total of nine teams representing the two leagues highlight the STATS FCS top-25 pre-season rankings. All eight matchups will feature at least one team that is a pre-season top-25 squad, and in two of those matchups both teams are ranked.
Date -- Matchup (TV)
Sept. 9 -- #2 North Dakota State at #5 Eastern Washington, 4 pm ET (SWX/NBC ND/ESPN3)
Sept. 9 -- #23 Cal Poly at #18 UNI, 5 pm ET (Panther Sports Network/ESPN3)
Sept. 9 -- #4 South Dakota State at Montana State, 8 pm ET (SWX/Pluto TV/Altitude 2)
Sept. 9 -- #25 Western Illinois at Northern Arizona, Time TBD (NAU-TV AZ/Pluto TV)
Sept. 9 -- Missouri State at #8 North Dakota, 5 pm ET (Midco Sports Network/Pluto TV)
Sept. 16 -- #8 North Dakota at South Dakota, 3 pm ET (Midco Sports Network/ESPN3)
Sept. 16 -- #18 UNI at Southern Utah, 8 pm ET (Pluto TV)
Oct. 7 -- #20 Illinois State at Northern Arizona, Time TBD (NAU-TV AZ/Pluto TV)
*Networks and streaming subject to change
Really cool move by the two conferences.