The New Mexico State football team currently holds a 13-game schedule in 2014, one more than the standard 12-game college football docket.
Anticipating the possibility of playing an independent schedule in consecutive years, NMSU scheduled as such for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Of course, the Aggies received a football-only membership into the Sun Belt Conference this past March, meaning they'll have an eight-game conference schedule in 2014. According to the website footballschedules.com, NMSU also has 2014 road games at Rice, LSU and UTEP, along with home contests against Cal Poly and New Mexico.
As a result, the Aggie athletics department is currently trying to find a solution for the scheduled road game at Rice. The Owls came to Aggie Memorial Stadium this past season as part of a home-and-home agreement with the Aggies.
Athletics Director McKinley Boston said the Aggies are trying to find the Owls a replacement game - an agreement with another program to visit the Owls and fill the Aggies scheduled visit to Rice in 2014.
Boston also said NMSU has appealed to the NCAA to play a 13-game schedule next year if the Aggies can't find the Owls a replacement opponent. If such an appeal were to be upheld, the Aggies would in fact play at Rice after all.
“It’s not common. But the uniqueness of the WAC (dissolution) of football makes it different," Boston said of the 13-game appeal. "There’s not very many conferences that one year’s playing football and the next year is not.”
Boston said a buyout of the Rice agreement would cost about $200,000.
"Obviously that’s not the option that we’re pursuing," he said.