Two conference football games you can count on every year through 2027: Montana State and...Portland State?

The Big Sky Conference determines two "protected rivalries" for each team, meaning that even with an imbalanced schedule due to 12 teams in the conference but only 8 conference games each season, two opponents are set in stone, then at least partially reset 7 seasons from now.

While Montana State will always be on the schedule, many fans would argue that either Eastern Washington or Idaho should be the other protected rival. And while the Montana Grizzlies will see the Eagles and Vandals at least every other season, for now, Portland State is that second for-sure conference game.

UM Sports Information Director Eric Taber reports today (Thursday) that the Big Sky Conference has set the conference schedules through 2027. Some adjustments had to be made, with the departure of Southern Utah.

Big Sky teams will play their eight conference games over a 9-week period with four home and four road games guaranteed through 2027. The format ensures that each team in the league will both host and travel to each conference opponent in a three-year period, never going more than one season without playing each conference team.

While there are still some open dates for the Griz to fill with non-conference opponents, there are a couple of real interesting calendar quirks that could provide opportunities to play 7 or possibly 8 home games! Eric tells us that expanded competition windows give UM the opportunity to play seven home games in 2024 and 2025. The Griz have not had 7 regular-season home games in a season since 2007.

And what could be a first, the potential also exists for Montana to host eight home games  in 2025, with Week One of the season falling on August 30.

For now, here are the dates you can count on for the next 6 seasons:

2022

9/3 Northwestern State

9/10 South Dakota

9/17 At Indiana State

9/24 Portland State

10/1 At Idaho State

10/8 Open

10/15 Idaho

10/22 At Sacramento State

10/29 At Weber State

11/5 Cal Poly

11/12 Eastern Washington

11/19 At Montana State

2023

9/2 Butler

9/9 At Dixie State

9/16 OPEN

9/23 At Northern Arizona

9/30 Idaho State

10/7 At UC Davis

10/14 At Idaho

10/21 OPEN

10/28 Northern Colorado

11/4 Sacramento State

11/11 At Portland State

11/18 Montana State

2024

8/31 Missouri State

9/7 At North Dakota

9/14 Morehead State

9/21 Western Carolina

9/28 At Eastern Washington

10/5 Weber State

10/12 Northern Arizona

10/19 OPEN

10/26 At Northern Colorado

11/2 At Cal Poly

11/9 UC Davis

11/16 Portland State

11/23 At Montana State

2025

8/30 Open

9/6 Open

9/13 North Dakota

9/20 Indiana State

9/27 Idaho

10/4 At Idaho State

10/11 Cal Poly

10/18 Open

10/25 At Sacramento State

11/1 At Weber State

11/8 Eastern Washington

11/15 At Portland State

11/22 Montana State

2026

9/5 Open

9/12 Dixie State

9/19 At Missouri State

9/26 Portland State

10/3 At UC Davis

10/10 Sacramento State

10/17 Open

10/24 At Idaho

10/31 Idaho State

11/7 At Northern Arizona

11/14 Northern Colorado

11/21 At Montana State

2027

9/4 Open

9/11 Open

9/18 Dixie State

9/25 At Cal Poly

10/2 Weber State

10/9 At Northern Colorado

10/16 At Portland State

10/23 Open

10/30 UC Davis

11/6 Northern Arizona

11/13 At Eastern Washington

11/20 Montana State

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