October began with a less blurry grouping of the contenders and the pretenders in the Big Sky Conference. The first week of action this month brought a few contenders taking hits while a few unlikely teams have thrust themselves squarely into the league race.
Even without senior All-American quarterback Gage Gubrud, Eastern Washington continued strengthening its hold on the league lead thanks to a 55-17 win over Southern Utah to keep the defending co-champions winless. EWU’s win moved the Eagles up to No. 3 in the FCS STATS Top 25 and to the top of these rankings.
Idaho State blasted in-state rival Idaho and UC Davis built a 49-10 lead before holding on for a 49-36 win to keep Northern Colorado winless. ISU and UCD join the Eagles as the three teams remain unbeaten in conference play with six weeks remaining.
Previously red-hot Montana fell back to earth after Cody Williams split the uprights at Washington-Grizzly Stadium for a 52-yard field goal in the final seconds to lift the Vikings to their first win in Missoula since 1987. Despite All-American Case Cookus missing his fourth straight game, Northern Arizona emerged with a 28-24 upset of No. 7 Weber State, handing last season’s co-champs its first Big Sky loss in a calendar year.
Sacramento State came off a bye to lose to a suddenly hot Cal Poly squad that notched its first Big Sky victory over the Hornets. Montana State comes off its bye to host Idaho for the first time since 1995.
This week marks the second of eight editions of Skyline Sports’ Big Sky Conference power rankings. These rankings are based on strength of schedule, quality of wins and most recent performance. Included are our weekly picks from the previous and upcoming weeks.
PICKS FOR BIG SKY GAMES ON OCTOBER 6
*Portland State at Montana – L
*Weber State at Northern Arizona – L
*Cal Poly at Sacramento State – L
*UC Davis at Northern Colorado
*Southern Utah at Eastern Washington (ROOT)
*Idaho at Idaho State
SKYLINE SPORTS 2018 PICKS FOR PRESEASON POLLS
BIG SKY PLAY: 11-7
PICKS FOR BIG SKY GAMES OCTOBER 13
$Montana at North Dakota
*Idaho at Montana State (ROOT)
*Eastern Washington at Weber State
*Sacramento State at Southern Utah
*Idaho State at UC Davis
*Northern Colorado at Portland State
BIG SKY POWER RANKINGS
Photos by Brooks Nuanez and Jason Bacaj. All Rights Reserved.