Weber State at #24 Utah (FBS)
Weber State begins their season in SLC as they take on the PAC 12 “tough guys”. Utah has sent a healthy amount of players onto the NFL and have been very competitive in the PAC 12 in recent years. Weber State will an uphill battle as the Utes have a stout defense and a clock-draining offense. Josh Davis will have to run out of his mind and count on the Wildcat defense to force turnovers to have a real chance.
Utah 35 Weber State 17
UC Davis at Tulsa (FBS)
UC Davis reloads their team with a road trip to Tulsa. The hot and cold Aggies will do their best to steal a game against an on-the-rise Tulsa team. Do the Aggies have enough seasoned talent on offense to keep up? Dan Hawkins best hope so since his defense is quite talented, but lacks the depth it requires to beat an FBS team.
Tulsa 31 UC Davis 9
Sam Houston State at Northern Arizona
Northern Arizona will face the FCS’s best as Sam Houston comes to town as the defending champions. The Bearcat’s star studded lineup has multiple players on professional football radars (NFL & CFL). Northern Arizona struggled against the likes of Southern Utah so there is little chance this game is competitive outside of NAU hosting in a dome environment.
SHSU 42 NAU 20
Eastern Washington at UNLV (FBS)
Eastern Washington is a top flight team in the FCS while UNLV is a moderate to bottom team in the Mountain West. While UNLV is rebuilding with former QB1 star Tate Martell, Eric Barriere looks to outshine him on the road to a Walter Payton Award. The deep offensive playmakers gives EWU a good shot to win the game.
EWU 33 UNLV 30 (OT)
Southern Utah at #25 Arizona State (FBS)
Southern Utah struggled against mediocre Big Sky competition so Arizona State will race past the Thunderbirds. A top 25 FBS team will pick apart SUU systematically. Justin Miller should hide behind Braxton Jones and throw the ball quick and often.
Arizona State 38 Southern Utah 6
Northern Colorado at Colorado (FBS)
Northern Colorado may be the extra, extra dark horse to get an FBS win this weekend. The Bears will be a brand new, never before seen, and vastly upgraded team compared to every other edition of UNC previously. On top of that, JT Shrout, former starting Buffs quarterback, is out for the season with a knee injury. Could the Bears be enough of a surprise to get a win or just better than before?
Colorado 37 Northern Colorado 24
North Dakota at Idaho State
Idaho State could have a quiet contender for game of the week with a strong FCS-FCS matchup week one. North Dakota proved themselves a worthy MVFC foe last year as they were not far off from conference title contention in a brutal conference. Idaho State emerged as a decent team in spring with FBS transfer QB Tyler Vander-Waal as a true gunslinger. Offensively these two teams should tear into each other for all they are worth.
North Dakota 45 Idaho State 42
Montana State at Wyoming (FBS)
Montana State starts the new season with a new coach from their week one opponents. Brent Vigen leaves the Rocky Mountain shores of “Laradise” and trades in the Brown and Gold for a new brand to ride under. While Coach Vigen is introducing a lot of new, including FBS transfer QB Matthew McKay, there will be plenty of old talent roaring to hit the field after the spring hiatus. Can Montana State’s All-American talent push them to a win?
Wyoming 27 Montana State 20
Cal Poly at San Diego
Cal Poly hired one of the most talented Big Sky coaches in recent history in Beau Baldwin. The problem is that Cal Poly looked worse than many D2 team last year. The confusion, lack of direction, and overall lack of effort last year left fans wondering how much farther the Mustangs could spiral. San Diego is not a super special team to any degree, but they should be able to tame the wild ponies of San Luis Obispo.
San Diego 31 Cal Poly 16
Simon Fraser (D2) at Idaho
Idaho hosts the famous Simon Fraser, the only Canadian NCAA team in the nation. Canada has the CFL which is definitely professional football, but also noticeably a step down compared to the NFL in America. The same can be said about Simon Fraser. A scrappy team who tries hard, but cannot amount to much in the win column.
Idaho 42 Simon Fraser 13
Montana at #20 Washington
Montana may be a power team in the Big Sky, but Washington will be serving humble pie topped with humility for the Griz. Huskies players are generally bigger, faster, and more talented that the majority of Pacific Northwest players. Look for the Griz to create highlights in this multiple score loss.
Washington 42 Montana 21
Sacramento State at Dixie State
Sacramento State was the first Big Sky team to postpone due to COVID, despite being defending conference champions at the time. Dixie State has shown promise at the FCS level, but consistency will be a key factor to start building. Will the time off hurt then Hornets and leave the door open to newcomer Dixie State?
Sacramento State 31 Dixie State 20
Portland State at Hawai’i (FBS)
Portland State goes on vacation for the first week. This “work trip” will be a rough negotiation as Hawai’i has come a long way in recent years compared to their past. The Warriors are no longer push-overs and are doing the pushing over now.
Hawai’i 35 Portland State 7
My name is Ben Schleiger and I’m your representative for the Big Sky Conference. I have done work for multiple newspapers and sports blogs including The Johnstown Breeze, The University of Northern Colorado Mirror, and Mile High Maniac. I am a proud alumnus of the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Political Science. In my free time, I like watching sports, playing video games, and trying new foods.