Encore performance: Aggie football to get 12th game - Albuquerque Journal

Encore performance: Aggie football to get 12th game

There will be a 12th regular season football game for New Mexico State after all.

The Aggies and Football Bowl Championship program Valparaiso both announced Tuesday that they are playing Saturday in Las Cruces with a 1 p.m. kickoff.

Both teams are 5-6; the Aggies didn’t play 12 games (as allowed normally for a Football Bowl Subdivision team) because San Jose State canceled on them for Oct. 22, one day after a death of one of the Spartan players.

Valparaiso is a nonscholarship program that competes in the Pioneer League.

New Mexico State is paying Valpo $425,000 to make the trip to Las Cruces, the Sun-News reports, from Valparaiso, Indiana. It will be Valparaiso’s first-ever football game against an FBS opponent.

The Aggies, after a stunning 49-14 win over Liberty on Saturday improved their record to 5-6, are hoping to be considered bowl eligible after all slots are filled with teams 6-6 or better – and athletic director Mario Moccia said Monday he has appealed to the NCAA Football Oversight Committee to be ranked ahead of all 5-7 teams in consideration, since the San Jose State cancellation was out of their control. NMSU expects a ruling this week.

Playing Valparaiso cannot count toward a sixth win for bowl eligibility, meanwhile, because only one win per season against an FCS team is countable. The Aggies already have that, a win over Lamar, 51-14 on Nov. 12.

NMSU said it wants to play this game to fullfill obligations to sponsors and season-ticket holders and give seniors a proper sendoff. And, the contest also presents an opportunity for the Aggies to square their record at 6-6.

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