CSJ Conference Preview: Big Sky Conference

College Sports Journal announces their 2018 Fearless Prediction for the Order of finish of the Big Sky Conference.

CSJ picks Weber State to repeat as the Big Sky champions this season, due to the return of five All-Americans and 10 players that earned All-Big Sky honors off last year’s championship team.

Leading the Wildcats this year will be the defensive side with a number of last year’s offensive stars that have graduated.  Defensive End LeGrand Toia earned All-American honors and first-team All-Big Sky honors as a junior last year. He has played in 35 career games in his three seasons with the Wildcats and has 179 total tackles with 18.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks.  The WSU defense gave up just 17.6 points per game, ranked 16th in FCS.

Weber State should see championship competition from the recent usual suspects in Eastern Washington, Montana, Southern Utah, Northern Arizona, and Montana State.  And the conference could see Sacramento State finally come to the top half of the standings.

The Big Sky wild card will be Idaho, which will be eligible right away for the Big Sky title and a postseason berth after transitioning down from the FBS level.  The Vandals played in the Sun Belt Conference before moving to the Big Sky this year.

Also of note, North Dakota no longer is a championship contender yet will play a full Big Sky schedule this year as well as next year before transitioning into the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2020.

For information and details on each school’s prospects for 2018, click on the links below.

  1. Weber State
  2. Eastern Washington
  3. Montana
  4. Southern Utah
  5. Northern Arizona
  6. Sacramento State
  7. Montana State
  8. Idaho
  9. UC Davis
  10. Northern Colorado
  11. Idaho State
  12. Cal Poly
  13. Portland State

2018 All-Big Sky Football Preseason Team  

Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, Keelan Doss, WR, UC Davis
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, Josh Buss, LB, Montana

Offense 
Quarterback – Gage Gubrud, Sr., Eastern Washington
Running Back – James Madison, Sr., Idaho State
Running Back – Antoine Custer, Jr., Eastern Washington
Wide Receiver – Keelan Doss, Sr., UC Davis
Wide Receiver – Emmanuel Butler, Sr., Northern Arizona
Wide Receiver – Andre Lindsey, Sr., Sacramento State
Wide Receiver – Alex Wesley, Sr., Northern Colorado
Fullback – Joe Protheroe, Sr., Cal Poly
Tight End – Charlie Taumoepeau, Jr., Portland State
Tight End – Wes Preece, Jr., UC Davis
Offensive Tackle – Iosua Opeta, Sr., Weber State
Offensive Tackle – Marquez Tucker, Sr., Southern Utah
Offensive Guard – Noah Johnson, Jr., Idaho
Offensive Guard – PJ Nu’usa, Jr., Southern Utah
Center – Zach Larsen, Jr., Southern Utah
Placekicker – Trey Tuttle, So., Weber State
Return Specialist – Rashid Shaheed, So., Weber State

Defense 
Defensive End – George Obinna, Sr., Sacramento State
Defensive End – Jonah Williams Jr., Weber State
Defensive Tackle – Jay-Tee Tiuli, Sr., Eastern Washington
Defensive Tackle – Tucker Yates, Sr., Montana State
Outside Linebacker – Josh Buss, Sr., Montana
Outside Linebacker – Kaden Ellis, Sr., Idaho
Inside Linebacker – LeGrand Toia, Sr., Weber State
Inside Linebacker – Chinedu Ahanonu, Sr., Southern Utah
Cornerback – Khalil Dorsey, Jr., Northern Arizona
Cornerback – Jalen Russell, So., Southern Utah
Safety – Wes Sutton, Sr., Northern Arizona
Safety – Mister Harriel, Sr., Sacramento State
Punter – Cade Coffey, So., Idaho
Special Teams – Brady May, Sr., Weber State

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