(STATS) - As Portland State looks to take the next step and win the Big Sky Conference title, the Vikings' 2016 schedule offers a potentially stronger chance.
In the 13-team conference's unbalanced scheduling, traditional powers Montana and Montana State, as well as emerging North Dakota have rotated off Portland State's schedule and been replaced by Weber State, UC Davis and Sacramento State.
Northern Arizona also won't be part of the team's slate for a second consecutive season, meaning the Vikings won't be facing three Big Sky teams that won at least seven games this past season.
The Vikings improved by six wins to 9-3 and tied for second place in the Big Sky with a No. 10 final national ranking under Bruce Barnum, the STATS FCS Coach of the Year.
Next season, they'll play five home games as well as two FBS programs: San Jose State (Sept. 10) in a first-ever meeting and Washington (Sept. 18), which it lost to 52-13 in the only other meeting in 2012. Their regular season finale against rival Eastern Washington will be played in Portland on Nov. 19.
2016 PORTLAND STATE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE:
Sept. 3, Central Washington
Sept. 10, at San Jose State
Sept. 18, at Washington
Sept. 25, at Southern Utah*
Oct. 1, Idaho State*
Oct. 8, at Weber State*
Oct. 15, Cal Poly*
Oct. 29, Northern Colorado*
Nov. 5, at UC Davis*
Nov. 12, at Sacramento State*
Nov. 19, Eastern Washington*
* - Big Sky Conference game