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Idaho to replace non-conference opponent Nevada in 2017 with an FCS team

Idaho Athletics stated that an opportunity for a fifth home game was a deciding factor.

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Last week Nevada dropped the Idaho Vandals as a non-conference opponent in 2017 in favor of in-state rival Idaho State. The move by Nevada to swap Idaho for Idaho State is a rather shocking move, as the Vandals aren't seen as much of a powerhouse.

Now, the details of how it all went down are now revealed.

The official response from Idaho Athletics is that Nevada asked Idaho could they replace them with an FCS opponent and Idaho approved so they could add their own FCS opponent to the 2017 schedule.

The FCS team has yet to be announced but the motivation behind the move is so the Vandals can have five home games for their final FBS season in 2017.

From an optics standpoint that makes sense: Maximize as many home games for your final FBS season as you can.

That being said, who exactly that FCS opponent will be remains to be seen, but seeing as Idaho will be transitioning to the Big Sky Conference for the 2018 season, one would think Idaho would like to replace Nevada with a Big Sky team to build more buzz for their final season as an FBS member.

Per, Idaho currently has UNLV (Sept. 9), Western Michigan (Sept. 23), and Missouri (Oct. 21) on next year's schedule.

With Sept. 2 as an open date, one potential move could be to reschedule the UNLV game currently on Sept. 9 to open the season in the Kibbie Dome. The move would free up room to allow Idaho to bring in a Big Sky team such as future Big Sky Conference peer North Dakota, who still has one more date to fill and could be open for that week.

Another team that Idaho could potentially fill a slot with are the Montana Grizzlies.

Montana, like Idaho, also has one more game to fulfill for the 2017 season with an open date on Sept. 16, a week that the Vandals also have open.

Northern Colorado will play the PAC-12's Colorado on Sept. 16, and could be open to a travel date game the week before or the week after.

It's yet to be seen which teams Idaho officials are looking at, but Vandal fans are at least assured another visit to the Kibbie Dome in 2017.