Jason Eck left one of the best assistant coaching jobs in the FCS because he wanted to experience firsts. His first head coaching job, the first program that was truly all his for him to build from the grand up, the first chance for him to establish himself as an FCS household name.
These firsts are just the beginning for him, and for us.
We’re, most likely, just two wins away from Eck clinching his first playoff berth as a head coach, and Idaho’s first FCS (formerly I-AA) playoff romp since 1995.
I love that word. “Firsts.” It’s exciting in a way that means we’re doing the damn things we were promised when the FCS drop was initiated. We’re doing the things we expect this program to be able to do year in and year out based on the proud as all hell history we hold here in Moscow, Idaho.
So, how about some more firsts.
We already have our first win over Montana since 1999, bringing the Little Brown Stein home where it belongs in what was also our first conference rivalry win over the Griz since 1995. Here’s what else we can do, with an immensely winnable game over an Eastern Washington team ripe for the smashing.
We can beat Eastern Washington and Montana in the same season for the first time since that aforementioned 1999 season, when we took down both on the road as an FBS member in the Big West. Also something not done as a Big Sky member since said aforementioned season, 1995.
We can secure our first winning conference season since returning to the Big Sky with just one more win out of our last three.
And here’s something that would be truly incredible: An undefeated record at home.
Take down Eastern and UC Davis, and the Vandals would have the first undefeated season inside the Dome since Eric Hisaw was slinging it for John L. Smith in 1994.
Hell, win out and we have can the first undefeated regular season in the state of Idaho since 1992, when we capped an unbeaten home record with a win over the Donks in Boise. Doing the same in Pocatello this season would be quite fun.
Jason Eck is delivering the firsts and bringing back everything we should love about our football reality now. He is showing us why we should embrace the Big Sky and enjoy the fact we’re built to not only win here, but win big.
Most importantly, he’s showing us the firsts are only the beginning. He’s not here to just deliver these firsts. He’s here to lay the groundwork so we can do these things again, and again, and again.
First things first, though. Take down the Eags this weekend. Declare Pacific Northwest supremacy in the Big Sky. Take one step closer to the postseason.
My alarm clock is set. Three AM football, baby.
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