Big Sky Conference

Griz jump 10 spots to No. 14 in STATS FCS poll; four total Big Sky teams ranked

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By Eric Taber

Montana Sports Information

The Montana Grizzlies have climbed the national rankings following Saturday’s 26-23 upset win over No. 13 Northern Iowa in Missoula. UM jumped from No. 24 to No. 14 in the STATS FCS Media Poll, and from No. 25 to No. 16 in the AFCA FCS Coaches’ Poll. After moving to 1-0 on the season, the Grizzlies garnered 1,716 points in the media poll as the third of four Big Sky teams represented in the top-25.

Eastern Washington moved to No. 6 in the poll after defeating D-II Central Washington 58-13, Weber State slid to No. 10 after falling to Utah 41-10, and Northern Arizona joined the Top 25 at No. 18 after dismantling UTEP 30-10.

North Dakota State held on to the No. 1 position after dominating the Big Sky’s Cal Poly Mustangs 49-3 in Fargo. The Griz travel to San Louis Obispo, Calif., on Sept. 29 to face Cal Poly. UNI fell to No. 21 following the loss the UM. A national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries select the STATS FCS Top 25. A first-place vote is worth 25 points, a second-place vote 24 points, all the way down to one point for a 25th-place vote.

Montana quarterback Dalton Sneed (11) breaks the pocket vs Northern Iowa/by Brooks Nuanez

In the Coaches’ Poll, UM picked up 248 points to leap from No. 25 to No. 16, leapfrogging Northern Iowa, who slid from 12 to 18.

The Big Sky put four teams into the coaches’ poll as well, with Sacramento State and UC Davis knocking on the door.

FCS conferences around the country select two voters to the AFCA Coaches’ poll each year. This year, Coach Aaron Best of Eastern Washington and Tim Walsh of Cal Poly represent the Big Sky.

Montana opened the season with a 26-23 win over the previously thirteenth-ranked UNI Panthers in head coach Bobby Hauck’s first game since returning to UM.

Quarterback Dalton Sneed led the Montana offense with over 300 yards of total offense and two touchdowns. Linebacker Dante Olson was named Big Sky Defensive Player of the Week after racking up 13 tackles.

The Griz host Drake on Sept. 8 in Missoula for the second game of the regular season.

STATS FCS Media Rankings as of September 3, 2018

Rank – School – Votes – Prev
1 – North Dakota State (1-0) – 3997 (157) – 1
2 – James Madison (0-1) – 3700 (1) – 2
3 – South Dakota State (0-0) – 3619 – 3
4 – Sam Houston State (0-0) – 3410 – 4
5 – North Carolina A&T (2-0) – 3103 (2) – 14
6 – Eastern Washington (1-0) – 2930 – 9
7 – Kennesaw State (0-1) – 2807 – 5
8 – Wofford (1-0) – 2637 – 10
9 – Samford (1-0) – 2398- 11
10 – Weber State (0-1) – 2388 – 8
11 – Nicholls (1-0) – 2297 – 18
12 – Villanova (1-0) – 2169 – 19
13 – Jacksonville State (0-1) – 2116 – 6
14 – Montana (1-0) – 1716 – 24
15 – Elon (0-1) – 1586 – 12
16 – McNeese (1-0) – 1493 – 17
17 – Central Arkansas (0-1) – 1253 – 16
18 – Northern Arizona (1-0) – 1142 – NR
19 – Illinois State (1-0) – 974 – 21
20 – New Hampshire (0-1) – 964 – 7
21 – UNI (0-1) – 921 – 13
22 – Maine (1-0) – 568 – NR
23 – South Dakota (0-1) – 538 – NR
24 – Stony Brook (0-1) – 433 – 20
25 – Furman (0-1) – 432 – 23

Others: UC Davis (417) , Delaware (361) , Austin Peay (343) , Rhode Island (178) , Montana State (169) , Yale (141) , Sacramento State (136) , San Diego (117) , Grambling State (94) , Southern Utah (67) , Colgate (50) , Richmond (44) , Western Illinois (42) , Butler (42) , North Alabama (33) , North Dakota (28) , Tennessee State (22) , Lehigh (21) , Youngstown State (21) , Western Carolina (16) , Prairie View A&M (16) , Southeastern Louisiana (10) , Chattanooga (9) , Monmouth (8) , Southern Illinois (5) , Howard (5) , Idaho (4) , Alabama State (3) , Central Connecticut State (3) , Fordham (2) , Harvard (1) , Duquesne (1)

2018 American Football Coaches Association FCS Coaches’ Poll – September 3, 2018

Rank- School (1st votes) -Rec. – Pts. -Prev.
1. – North Dakota St. (26) – 1-0 – 650 – 1
2. – James Madison – 0-1 – 614 – 2
3. – South Dakota St. – 0-0 – 585 – 3
4. – Sam Houston St. – 0-0 – 565 – 4
5. – Eastern Washington – 1-0 – 524 – 7
6. – North Carolina A&T – 2-0 – 479 – 14
7. – Wofford    1-0       461      11
8. – Kennesaw St. – 0-1 – 447 – 5
9. – Samford – 1-0 – 434 – 10
10. – Nicholls – 1-0 – 392 – 17
11. – Villanova – 1-0 – 368 – 19
12. – Jacksonville St. – 0-1 – 348 – 6
13. – Weber St. – 0-1 – 315 – 8
14. – McNeese – 1-0 – 296 – 18
15. – Elon – 0-1 – 250 – 13
16. – Montana – 1-0 – 248 – 25
17. – Central Arkansas – 0-1 – 247 – 15
18. – Northern Iowa – 0-1 – 206 – 12
19. – Illinois St. – 1-0 – 205 – 20
20. – Northern Arizona – 1-0 – 175
21. – Furman – 0-1 – 102 – 21
22. – New Hampshire – 0-1 – 95 – 9
23. – Stony Brook – 0-1 – 79 – 22
24. – Austin Peay – 0-1 – 59 – 23
25. – Maine – 1-0 – 54 – NR

Dropped Out: Delaware (16), Youngstown St. (24)

Others Receiving Votes: South Dakota, 46; Delaware, 40; Sacramento St., 27; UC Davis, 23; Yale, 22; San Diego, 20; Colgate, 18; Montana St., 11; Rhode Island, 11; Dayton, 9; Western Carolina, 9; Youngstown St., 5; Southeastern Louisiana, 4; Alabama St., 3; Charleston Southern, 3; Grambling St., 1

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