CSJ Big Sky Conference Power Rankings — Week 4

Montana State’s Edward Vander carries for a first down as University of North Dakota defenders try to contain him the second half Saturday.

The cream of this league is starting to rise to the top despite only one conference game played by most schools. Weber State looks like the top dog right now and Eastern Washington seemed to right the ship after opening the season at 0-2. Montana State is the other team that despite its record looks like a formidable team right now.

This week we should find out even more with some key match-ups with the Weber State at Montana State game looking like the top game in the league this week.

I am sure we will see even more movement this week but here are my rankings with last week’s ranking in parenthesis.

1. (1) Weber State (3-1 overall, 1-0 BSC)

Last week: Beat UC-Davis 41-3 at home

This week at Montana State

The Wildcats turned away the Aggies in big fashion last weekend. They seem to be one of the top teams so far in the conference. We might know for sure with the road test in Bozeman this week.

2. (3) Eastern Washington (2-2, 1-0)

Last week: Beat Montana 48-41 on the road

This week: vs. Sacramento State

Just when you thought the Eagles might not be as good as past teams, the real EWU team showed up the past two weeks with road wins over Fordham and Montana. EWU comes back home this week with what could be a tough opponent in the Hornets.

3. (5) Montana State (1-2, 1-0)

Last week: Beat North Dakota 49-21 on the road

This week: vs. Weber State

MSU had arguably the top performance last week with the road win at preseason favorite UND. It doesn’t get any easier this week though even though the game is at home with Weber State.

4. (7) Northern Arizona (1-2, 1-0)

Last week: Beat Cal Poly 28-10 on the road

This week: vs. Northern Colorado

The Lumberjacks have been devastated by some key injuries but the defense that kept the team in most games and were very impressive last week. This week it is the battle of the ‘Northerns’ in Flagstaff.

5. (4) North Dakota (1-3, 0-1)

Last week: Lost to Montana State 49-21 at home,

This week: at UC-Davis

The injuries have hurt the Fighting Hawks but UND should have a team to overcome these injuries. This team so far hasn’t shown it can and now have to go to west coast to play the Aggies.

6. (13) Sacramento State (2-2, 1-0)

Last week: Beat Southern Utah 54-27 at home,

This week at Eastern Washington

The Hornets are playing the role of darkhorse and may become a front runner if they can win in Cheney this week. It will be a tall order but this team has proven it can compete with just about anyone thus far despite only being .500 currently.

7. (2) Southern Utah (2-2, 0-1)

Last week: Lost to Sacramento State 54-27 on the road

This week: Bye

The Thunderbirds were impressive during the non-conference schedule but not so much in the conference opener loss at the Hornets. SUU gets a bye this week before hosting Cal Poly next week.

8. (6) Montana (2-2, 0-1)

Last week lost to Eastern Washington 48-41 at home

This week at Portland State

The Grizzlies led the Eagles 24-6 at halftime but gave up 42 second half points in the home loss. They head west to Portland this week in what could be a key match-up if Montana wants to stay in the BSC race.

9. (11) Northern Colorado (2-1, 1-0)

Last week: Beat Idaho State 43-42 at home

This week at Northern Arizona

The Bears seemingly had the game well in hand last week but Idaho State came from behind to take the lead but the Bears won it with a last minute field goal to escape with the one point victory. Now a trip to NAU will really see how far this young team has come.

10. (9) Idaho State (2-2,0-1)

Last week: Lost to Northern Colorado 43-42 on the road

This week: vs. Cal Poly

After beating FBS Nevada and coming from behind at UNC (despite losing in the last minute), this Bengals team is still surpassing many experts expectations. A win over winless Cal Poly at home in Pocatello will really turn this team toward the right direction.

11. (8) UC Davis (2-2, 0-1)

Last week lost to Weber State 41-3 on the road

This week: vs. North Dakota

The good news is the UC Davis likely is not at the bottom of the standings like it has been towards the last several seasons. But playing the top of the conference now in the blowout loss and this week’s home game against UND will be what the Aggies need to improve upon.

12. (10) Portland State (0-3, 0-1)

Last week: Bye

This week: vs. Montana

The Vikings played two FBS teams tough to begin its season but two weeks ago were blown out at home by UC Davis in technically a non-conference game. The good news is PSU got a week off but the bad news is that the Vikings play a hungry Montana team this week in what is in their make-shift home in Hillsboro due to their normal home hosting a soccer match.

13. (12) Cal Poly (0-4, 0-1)

Last week: Lost to Northern Arizona 28-10 at home

This week: at Idaho State

The Mustangs are the big downer in most prognosticators eyes this year in the BSC. To start the season, this week’s game at ISU seemed to be its easy road contest but from what we have seen so far no game will be easy for this team.