Missouri Valley Football Conference Pushes League Season Back To Spring

Northern Iowa's Chris Kolarevic (48) chases South Dakota State's Keaton Heide (13) during a Missouri Valley Football Conference game last season. (Abigail Dollins/Argus-Leader-Imagn Content Services)

John Bohnenkamp

There will be football scheduled in Iowa in the spring.

The Missouri Valley Football Conference, which includes Northern Iowa, announced on Friday night that its Presidents Council voted to push its season back to the spring of 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The conference will play an 8-game, league-only schedule with hopes there will be a Football Championship Subdivision playoff after the season.

“Without question the most important part of our decision-making process was listening to our student-athletes and hearing their feelings,” Jim Tressel, chair of the MVFC Presidents Council and President at Youngstown State University, said in a statement released by the conference. “What we clearly heard was that they want to play this year for a chance to participate in the FCS Playoffs. It's great to know that they believe we are taking all the steps necessary to keep them safe in the process. All 11 MVFC teams weighed in with their positions on the options we considered, and all thoughts and concerns guided our thinking.”

Conference teams can play non-league games in the fall of 2020. UNI was scheduled to play Iowa in the season opener on Sept. 5 in Iowa City, but that game was canceled when the Big Ten decided in July to play a conference-only schedule this season. Two other nonconference games against Idaho State and Weber State were lost when the Big Sky Conference announced it would be pushing its season to the spring.

UNI officials announced in a statement on Friday night that the Panthers will not play any nonconference games this fall.