Here is the College Sports Journal’s Big Sky Conference Power Rankings for the week of 10/18/2016. (Last week’s ranking in parenthesis.
1. (1) Eastern Washington (5-1, 3-0)
Last week: Bye
This Week: @ Montana State
The Eagles got a bye and now get likely the worst team in the league this week.
2. (3) North Dakota (5-2, 4-0)
Last week: Beat Southern Utah, 45-23
This Week: @ Idaho State
With wins over Cal Poly and SUU, the Fighting Hawks have the best set of victories from the early conference season.
3. (4) Cal Poly (4-2, 2-1)
Last week: Beat Portland State, 55-35
This Week: vs. UC Davis
Cal Poly beat South Dakota State on the road four weeks ago. This is the same SDSU team that beat the five time national champion North Dakota State last week. This Mustangs team is very good.
4. (2) Montana (5-1, 2-1)
Last week: Beat Sacramento State, 68-7
This Week: @ Northern Arizona
Montana has looked impressive beating up on two lesser quality opponents the past two weeks but the road trip this week to Flagstaff will see if this is a team that might be one to contend with in the playoffs.
5. (6) Weber State (4-2, 3-0)
Last week: Beat Montana State, 45-27
This Week: @ Southern Utah
The Wildcats don’t have a signature victory really yet but have a chance this week against last year’s champs and in-state rival SUU.
6. (5) Southern Utah (3-3, 2-2)
Last week: Lost to North Dakota, 45-23
This Week: vs. Weber State
I thought I’d drop the T-Birds further, but it looks like they are clearly on the line between the contenders and everyone else. SUU could pull the Wildcats onto the line with it with a win this weekend.
7. (8) Northern Arizona (3-4, 2-2)
Last week: Beat Idaho State, 52-7
This Week: vs. Montana
Last week was what we were supposed to see all year long with this Lumberjack offense. We will see if it was just the quality of opponent or if the offense has really awaken this week against the Grizzlies.
8. (7) Northern Colorado (3-3, 1-2)
Last week: Lost to UC Davis, 34-21
This Week: vs. Sacramento State
The Bears have come back to earth after starting 3-1 overall on the season. Two straight losses have UNC looking for answers. Luckily, they get Sacramento State this week.
9. (9) Portland State (2-5, 1-3)
Last week: Lost to Cal Poly, 55-35
This Week: Bye
Coach Bruce Barnum’s team is not having the luck it had last year. This week, a much needed bye is in order to see if he can right the ship.
10. (11) UC Davis (2-5, 1-3)
Last week: Beat Northern Colorado, 34-21
This Week: @ Cal Poly
UC Davis won its first Division I game this year. The Aggies previously had a win over NAIA Southern Oregon. The Battle for the Golden Horseshoe in San Luis Obispo will be tough for the Aggies to win—something they last won in 2014.
11. (10) Idaho State (2-4, 1-2)
Last week: Lost to Northern Arizona, 52-7
This Week: vs. North Dakota
The Bengals go from the fireplace to the furnace this week. The Fighting Hawks are looking for revenge from an ISU loss last year that likely kept UND out of the playoffs.
12. (12) Sacramento State (1-6, 1-3)
Last week: Lost to Montana, 68-7
This Week: @ Northern Colorado
The Hornets still can claim a Big Sky win over Montana State. Can Sacramento State get one on the road in Greeley this week?
13. (13) Montana State (2-5, 0-4)
Last week: Lost to Weber State, 45-27
This Week: vs. Eastern Washington
The Bobcats might be getting closer to pulling out a victory but so far they are still winless in conference play to keep them at the BSC cellar. The game with EWU might get ugly early.
Originally from LaMoure, North Dakota, Kent is a 1996 graduate of North Dakota State University. His prior writing experience is over 15 years having previously worked with D2football.com, I-AA.org, and College Sporting News before coming to College Sports Journal in 2016. His main focus is college football in the western half of the United States– the Big Sky Conference and Missouri Valley Football Conference within the Division I FCS. And in 2017, he began also to look at the FBS Group of Five conferences of the American Athletic, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, and Sun Belt.
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