The work is in progress to fill one of Oregon St.'s non-conference open dates in the 2016 football schedule with Indiana St. The Sycamores, better known for their basketball, especially a generation ago, when Larry Bird led them to the NCAA National Championship Game, are from the FCS Division Missouri Valley Conference, and found themselves in search of an opponent when Minnesota had to back out of their scheduled game, as 2016 in the first year the Big 10 will go to a 9 game conference schedule, and also move to eliminate FCS opponents from all B1G teams' schedules.
As reported today, the Minnesota athletic department, who has developed a bit of a working relationship with Oregon St. in putting together the home and home series in 2017 and 2018 between the Gophers and Beavers, were actively involved in helping put the deal together.
Oregon St. will also host Boise St. in 2016, but still needs another non-conference game.
The MVC, which has numerous members in or adjacent to states with Big 10 Conference teams, could be looking West more often for opponents to take the place of their geographical neighbors.
Indiana St. went 7-4 in 2012, and 5-3 in the MVC, with a narrow 24-17 loss at their instate rival Indiana in their only game against an FBS opponent. It was a step up from their 6-5 2011 season, which included a 5-5 Conference campaign.
The Missouri Valley Conference has produced the last 2 FCS National Champions in North Dakota St.
The Sycamores play both Indiana and Purdue this fall.