EASTERN OREGON – The Frontier Conference has announced that it has once again amended the 2020 football schedule that will be played this Spring of 2021. The newly updated schedule was approved by the Council of Presidents in a Thursday afternoon conference call.
The modified schedule still remains a conference only one, but this time the league will be split into two pods and feature just four games for each of the eight teams. This new schedule reduces the conference game schedule for every Frontier Conference football squad from seven to four. The new format addresses the following issues the conference is still facing with the COVID-19 pandemic:
1. The goal of assuring continued student-athlete safety.
2. Weather concerns affecting outdoor sports.
3. Upholding the desire for the utmost care regarding facilities sanitation, etc. but at the same time maintaining the adaptability, creativity and flexibility for providing quality schedules.
Each team does have the option to play additional non-conference games barring any state restrictions, respectively. The conference only portion of the schedule will now begin on Saturday, March 20 and run until April 10. The NAIA National Playoffs begin the following weekend on April 17. Any non-conference games that teams wish to play must take place before March 20.
Each team will be guaranteed two home games in the modified setup. The Mountaineers are grouped in POD 1 with Montana State-Northern, Montana Western, and Montana Tech. POD 2 has Southern Oregon, Carroll College (Mont.), College of Idaho, and Rocky Mountain College (Mont.) grouped together.
Three of the Mountaineers games will be against the other teams in their pod grouping with the fourth coming against one of the squads in the second pod. EOU’s lone opponent outside of their pod will be against in-state rival Southern Oregon.
Game 1 | vs. Montana Western | 3/20 | 1 p.m. PT
The Navy & Gold will now kick-off the Spring 2021 season on March 20 and it will be the home opener against Montana Western. EOU is 17-11 against Montana Western since 2000 and inside Community Stadium they have won each of the last three matchups. Most recently at home, EOU took down UMW 54-51 in a three-overtime thriller back on Sept. 22, 2018.
Game 2 | @ Montana State-Northern | 3/27 | 1 p.m. MT
The Mounties next two games will be road contests. The trip gets started at Montana State-Northern on March 27. The Mountaineers have won their last six overall matchups against MSU-Northern and since 2004 are 16-6 against the lights. At home, EOU has been dominant against MSUN having won 10 of the 11 contests since 2004.
Game 3 | @ Montana Tech | 4/3 | 1 p.m. MT
Game three, the second contest of the road swing, will be at Montana Tech on April 3. Since 2000, EOU is 14-18 against Montana Tech and is 8-8 at home in that span. The Navy & Gold will look to snap an overall two-game skid against the Orediggers and a four-game road losing streak against them.
Game 4 | vs. Southern Oregon | 4/10 | 1 p.m. PT
Eastern will close out the shortened regular season at home on April 10 when they welcome longtime rival Southern Oregon. EOU split its 2019 series against SOU, 1-1, winning on the road. The Mountaineers are just 3-11 at home since 2000 against SOU but are 7-7 on the road. They are 10-18 against the Raiders since 2000.
The NAIA football playoffs are scheduled for April 17 and 24, and May 1 with the National Championship game scheduled for May 10, 2021 at Eddie Robinson Stadium in Grambling, La.