Colorado State Rams-New Mexico Lobos football game canceled due to coronavirus

The season-opening football game between Colorado State and New Mexico scheduled for Saturday has been canceled, the Mountain West Conference announced Tuesday.

"Due to the prevalence of the COVID-19 virus in Bernalillo County and in accordance with state guidelines, the University of New Mexico is unable to participate in the scheduled football game on Saturday, Oct. 24, at Colorado State University," the conference said. "Therefore, the Mountain West is canceling the game and declaring it a no contest. There is no plan to reschedule the game."

For a game involving New Mexico to be played, the state's COVID-safe practices for intercollegiate sports require the 14-day average daily case count for Bernalillo County to be fewer than eight per 100,00 and test positivity rate of under five percent for 14 days prior to the game.

The most recent data published by the New Mexico Department of Health (Sept. 29-Oct. 12) shows cases per 100,00 at 14.1 and positivity rate at 4.7%. On Tuesday, the state announced 123 new cases in Bernalillo County but has not updated how those new cases change the county's overall rates.

"We're going to continue to focus, continue to test, continue to do everything that we're currently doing right now to give us a chance to play next week versus San Jose State," New Mexico athletic director Eddie Nunez said.

Cancellations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic were part of the expectation for the Mountain West when it announced its eight-week return-to-play plan last month. Commissioner Craig Thompson made it clear when the conference announced it would play this season that he did not expect all 12 teams to complete their full schedule.

The conference will not be split into two divisions; instead, it will use a one-division format that will determine its conference championship game participants based on best winning percentage.