Big Sky Power Rankings Week 6

Reminder this is a “Power Ranking.” It means different things to different people. Some view it as the best team, some view it as hottest team at the moment. At the end of the year, the team that wins the conference may not be No. 1 in our rankings. We had 12 voters this week.

This week [Last Week] | Team | First Place Votes – Points

1. [3] Eastern Washington (12) – 169

Last Week: W Vs #6 Montana 34-28

This Week: @ Northern Colorado

My Ranking: 1

WOW, WOW, WOW! What a show! The wait was worth it. If this truly is a farewell tour, the main event was something to hold onto forever. This will make the best hits album for years to come. The show was so good, maybe this isn’t farewell after all. They have a couple big shows left to maybe show these old souls still have it. That they are more than just their lead guitarist.

2. [1] Montana – 145

Last Week: L @ 28-34 #4 Eastern Washington

This Week: Vs Dixie State

My Ranking: 3

Well shoot. I took Montana in this one and was pretty confident in the pick. Though the one thing I said was Cam Humphrey can’t win this game, and he couldnt. I know Kris Brown was ultimately how it ended, but Humphrey just isn’t a guy to go out and win you a game. Humphrey completed 53% of his passes for 150 yards and a 1 to 1 TD to INT ratio.

Cam didnt lose them the game, he certainly didnt win it either.

That VAUNTED griz defense I thought would give QB Eric Barriere the same types of “fits” Idaho has the past two seasons. (“fits” as in not 400 yards and 4 TDs)

Vs Idaho

2019- Passing: 28/46 365 Yards 2 TDs 1 INT Rushing: 57 Yards 2 TDs 1 Fumble

2020A- Passing: 32/57 339 Yards 2 TDs 1 INT Rushing: 14 Yards 0 TDs

2020B- Passing: 18/38 309 Yards 2 TDs 0 INT Rushing: 54 yards 0 TDs

Vs Montana

2021 – Passing: 26/46 422 Yards 2 TDS 2 INTS Rushing: 41 yards 0 TDs

I guess they kinda did?… But it just wasnt enough.

3. [2] UC Davis – 142

Last Week: W vs Idaho 27-20

This Week: @ Idaho State

My Ranking: 2

UC Davis fans I imagine are okay not being in the top spot after their preformace compared to the ESPN2 showdown. However, #3? My assumption of the 11 other voters is, they rewarded Eastern for the win, didnt want to punish Montana, and the Aggies just played it too close to a team barely in the top 10 of the power rankings.

I made the argument last week in favor of UC Davis having a tougher schedule. Well, what a difference a week can make?! 2 of our top 3 teams are undefeated. Montana (the one with the loss) leads the way in average sagarin ranked opponents, at 130 on average, Easterns’ average opponents ranks 140.75, then UC Davis is a only 193 (out of 258).

Good news for them they only have 1.5 hurdles left to go undefeated.

4. [4] Montana State – 137

Last Week: W vs Northern Colorado 40-7

This Week: Vs Cal Poly

My Ranking 5

You know it is bad when Griz fans were pulling for Montana State. Their opponent last week, Northern Colorado, apparrently ruffled some feathers. People wanted to seem the out of no-where cockiness of the bears cooled down a bit.

The spread was -19.5 Montana State at home. I was one of the people that thought Northern Colorados’ rennassiance was further along and took the spread… Montana State proved they are not.

The Bobcats are sort of sailing under the radar. I think they like it this way. But Bobcat fans beware of flying objects when attending games.

R&R is brought to you by Jeremiah Johnson Brewing Another instant reaction episode, this time Shane Driscoll pinch hits for Thorny and helps Foley give the good, the bad and the ugly from the huge win over Weber State. Thanks to Shane for coming on, and Go Cats! Intro music courtesy of Ugly Duckling
  1. INSTANT REACTION: Weber State
  2. #19 Weber State Preview with Weber State Weekly
  3. Cal Poly Recap
  4. INSTANT REACTION: Cal Poly
  5. Northern Colorado Recap, Cal Poly Preview

5. [5] Weber State – 119

Last Week: W @ Cal Poly 38-7

This Week: Bye

My Ranking: 4

Look for Weber, a backup QB puting up 38 points is a win.

Just werid vibes coming out of Ogden. They are almost in a win or bust situation. They may be able to afford one more loss to a top Big Sky program. But they are running out of statement wins as well. The next 3 weeks are going to be monumental for the Wildcats.

Coming off of the bye, they get Montana State at home which feels like the must win game. Because they follow that up on the road in Cheney. They really need to go 2-0 through that stretch to gurantee playoffs. otherwise it gets iffy and their future may be in others hands. Which is always stressful.

Right now it is a 5 team race for conference title and playoff spots. In 3 weeks it could be narrowed down to 4 teams and some “SadCats” – Hot Take Nate

FOOTBALL GAME DAY: Montana State vs. Weber State w/ R&R Cat Cast's Thorny & Foley Weber State Weekly

The end of the bye has finally come and it's time for the Wildcats to face another top ten opponent at Stewart Stadium. This time, it's the Montana State Bobcats who have been taking care of business this year and come in ranked #9.We chat with fellow Big Sky Podcast Network members Thorny and Foley from the R&R Cat Cast to learn more about what the Bobcats bring to Ogden and where the Wildcats will have to play tough to grind out a dub.For more Bobcats commentary or to hear WSW's take on their show, check out R&R Cat Cast on Twitter or their website.Special thanks to our sponsor, WildcatRack.com. Visit their website to check out all their latest Wildcat gear and follow them on Facebook or Instagram.Don't forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or join the Wildcat Fans FB group.
  1. FOOTBALL GAME DAY: Montana State vs. Weber State w/ R&R Cat Cast's Thorny & Foley
  2. Back from the Bye: Junior DE George Tarlas
  3. #MakeOgdenPurple w/ Weber State Alumni Association Board Member Amir Jackson
  4. #AceState: Sophomore Outside Hitter Dani Nay
  5. FOOTBALL GAME DAY: Weber State @ Cal Poly, 10.02.21

6. [6] Sacramento State – 96

Last Week: Bye Week

This Week: Vs Southern Utah

My Ranking: 10

I seriously dont get it?! We punish teams like Davis for beating Idaho by 7. We punish teams like Weber for losing to Top 10 programs. Yet, 2-2 Sac State with a 2 point win vs 206th ranked Sagarin team and an 8 point win vs 222nd sagarin ranked team, just keep being named the best team outside of the elite teams? PEOPLE, they barely beat the team we ranked last this week! So if Sac State is SOOO good why did we punish Idaho State (fell 3 spots). They fell by a 4th quarter field goal. This wasnt ISU making it look close in garbage time. This was Sac State having to come from behind vs (apparently) the worst team in the Big Sky.

#ComeOnMan

7. [7] Portland State – 92

Last Week:W @ Southern Utah 20-13

This Week: @ Idaho

My Ranking: 6

The love everyone seems to give Sac State, should be given here. Portland State is the team it appears the rest of the Big Sky Podcast Network thinks Sac State is.

QB Davis Alexander is #2 in yards, #4 in TDs.

RB Malik Walker is #7 in yards (Sac State RB not even on list), #2 in TDs

WR Beau Kelly #4 in yards , #2 in catches, #1 in TDs

WR Nate Bennet #6 in yards, #4 in catches, T-#2 in TDs

Yup, I did just take half of Portland States space to continue the tar and feathering of Sac State. Sorry, Colter, they arent quite top 5, but looking to be top 6…ish

8. [t-11] Northern Arizona – 76

Last Week: W vs Idaho State 48-17

This Week: Bye

My Ranking: 8

This team has fluctuated lots this season. Been as high as #6 and as low as #12. Which seems to be fitting honestly as no one seems to have a grip on who they are.

I was celebrity guest host on BSPNS’s NAU Sports Show last week and predicited an Idaho State W, but left door open for NAU win. Classic hedge.

Well NAU players and fans can mail me my crow meal. They were Tiger Kings this weekend.

9. [9] Idaho – 67

Last Week: L @ #7 UC Davis 20-27

This Week: Vs Portland State

My Ranking: 9

They move none and match my ranking. Out of 13 teams the only teams I agree with positioning are #1 Eastern, #8 NAU and #9 Idaho.

I know majority of the eyeballs reading this are Vandals, and probably skipped right on down to this point, and Im sorry.

I know we just hung with the #7 team in the country with legit shot to win. But, we didn’t… Look talent wise we proved we might be top 3 in the conference. Hell, just look at recent draft picks and NFL guys since we rejoined the sky in 2018. In 3 seasons we have 3 guys in NFL and the only Big Sky school with a guy who most likely will be leaving early to be drafted (Tre Walker). The worst part in 2018 all 4 of them were on the team together! in 2019 3 of them were on the team together! How can we not win games with this level of talent?oh wait, Coaching.

I’m starting to think you could go down position matchups every week and pick Idaho in the majority. The one I am starting to think we can no longer check is head coach. I have been a defender of Paul for 8.25 seasons… I can’t anymore. No more excuses. we aren’t Independent, we arent transtioning to Sun Belt, we are recruting to a program kicked out of the Sun Belt, we aren’t transitioning to FCS with less scholarships, we arent getting use to another new conference in the Big Sky, we aren’t in a shortened spring season, we dont have QB issues anymore, we have no more excuses.

We SHOULD have won on saturday, the players did…

10. [8] Northern Colorado – 50

Last Week: L @ Montana State 7-40

This Week: Vs #4 Eastern Washington

My Ranking: 8

Well they lost me money this weekend (*Allegedly). Maybe the bears aren’t as far along as some (maybe just me and Bears fans) thought.

Montana State showed the difference between top flight Big Sky team and the pile up between 11ish and 6.

After that ass kicking, I doubt they are enthused with Eastern coming to town. Going to be a sad homecoming. But seriously, lets dive into this. Who in their right mind schedules Eastern for Homecoming? Like, Why? Do you understand you are suppose to win homecoming? is this concept foreign to you? Are you secretly a NAU grad? A Raiders Fan? Christian McCaffery stole your girl? I dont get it? It really makes me want to break a clipboard and throw it. As a “Souvenir” of course.

11. [t-11] Southern Utah – 42

Last Week: L vs Portland State 13-20

This Week: @ Sacramento State

My Ranking: 12

Please refer to the WAC Podcast Networks coverage of this team.

12. [13] Cal Poly – 25

Last Week: L vs #19 Weber State 7-38

This Week: @ #10 Montana State

My Ranking: 13

I mean, not sure how they moved up. They are my 13, though maybe I should just permenently make SUU my 13, becasue screw SUU. (Exept their Social Media team, they are fire. Please dont roast me)

13. [10] Idaho State – 23

Last Week: L @ Northern Arizona 17-48

This Week: Vs UC Davis

My Ranking:11

Well Bengals, You made me look like a fool. Fool me once shame on me, Fool me can’t get fooled again.

*** As always I”m not an journalist so, take your gramatical error comments, & put them in a beg some-Where. Hope you enjoyed the content regarless if you maid it too dis disclaimer 

😉

QB1: The STATS

Here are just the Stats. You make the call.

2021 (3 games in)

Mike Beaudry | R-Senior

Passing

QBR:126.26

Attempts: 60

Completions: 39

Comp %: 65

Yards: 359

Yards per att: 5.99

Yards per comp: 9.2

TD: 2

TD per att:1 every 30

TD per comp:1 every 19.5

INT: 0

INT per att: 0

Long: 35

Rushing

Carries: 14

Yards: 83

Yards per carry: 5.9

TD:0

TD per carry:0

Caleb Jordan | Freshman

Passing

QBR 107.2

Attempts: 31

Completion: 14

Comp %: 45.16

Yards: 198

Yards per att: 6.3

Yards per comp: 14.1

TD: 2

TD per att:1 every 15.5

TD per comp:1 every 7

INT: 2

INT per att: 1 every 15.5

Long: 71

Rushing

Carries: 21

Yards: 139

Yards per Carry: 6.6

TD: 1

TD per carry:1 in every 21

Zach Borisch | R-Soph

Passing

QBR: 0

Attempts: 0

Completions: 0

Comp %: 0

Yards: 0

Yards per att: 0

Yards per comp: 0

TD: 0

TD per att:0

TD per comp:0

INT: 0

INT per att: 0

Long: 0

Rushing

Carries: 10

Yards: 49

Yards per Carry: 4.9

TDs: 0

TD per carry:0

2020

Mike Beaudry | R-Senior

Passing

QBR: 116.74

Attempts: 122

Completions: 73

Comp%: 59.35

Yards: 794

Yards per att: 6.5

Yards per comp: 10.9

TD: 3

TD per att:1 in every 41

TD per comp:1 in every 24.3

INT: 3

INT per att:1 in every 41

Long: 49

Rushing

Carries: 25

Yards: 134

Yards per carry: 5.36

TD: 1

TDs per carry: 1 in every 25

Caleb Jordan | Freshman

Passing

QBR: 116.19

Attempts: 27

Completions: 16

Comp%: 59.26

Yards: 183

Yards per att: 6.8

Yards per comp: 11.4

TD: 0

TD per att:0

TD per comp:0

INT: 0

INT per att:0

Long: 23

Rushing

Carries: 14

Yards: 65

Yards per carry: 4.6

TDs: 1*

TDs per carry: 1 in every 14

Zach Borisch | R-Soph

Passing

QBR: 96.67

Attempts: 12

Comletions: 6

Comp%: 50

Yards: 75

Yards per att: 6.3

Yards per comp: 12.5

TD: 1

TD per att:1 in 12

TD per comp:1 in 6

INT: 3

INT per att:1 in 4

Long: 25

Rushing

Carries: 48

Yards: 300

Yards Per carry: 6.3

TDs: 2

TDs per carry: 1 in every 24

Total Over Past 2 Seasons

Mike Beaudry | R-Senior

QBR: 120.5

Attempts: 182

Completions: 112

Comp%: 61.5

Yards: 1,153

Yards per att: 6.3

Yards per comp: 10.3

TDs: 5

TD per att:1 in every 36.4

TD per comp:1 in 22.4

INT: 3

INT per att:1 in every 60.7

Long: 49

Rushing

Carries: 39

Yards: 217

Yards per carry: 5.6

TD: 1

TD per carry:1 in every 39

Caleb Jordan | Freshman

QBR: 111.4

Attempts: 58

Completions: 30

Comp%: 51.7

Yards: 381

Yards per att: 6.5

Yards per comp: 12.7

TDs: 2

TD per att: 1 in every 29

TD per comp:1 in every 15

INT: 2

INT per att:1 in every 29

Long: 71

Rushing

Carries: 35

Yards: 204

Yards per carry: 5.8

TD: 2*

TD per carry:1 in every 17.5

Zach Borisch | R-Soph

QBR: 96.67

Attempts: 12

Comletions: 6

Comp%: 50

Yards: 75

Yards per att: 6.3

Yards per comp: 12.5

TDs: 1

TD per att:1 in 12

TD per comp:1 in 6

INT: 3

INT per att:1 in 4

Long: 25

Rushing

Carries: 58

Yards: 349

Yards Per carry: 6

TDs: 2

TD per carry:1 in every 29

*** As always I”m not an journalist so, take your gramatical error comments, & put them in a beg some-Where. Hope you enjoyed the content regarless if you maid it too dis disclaimer 

😉

Big Sky Power Rankings Week 5

Reminder this is a “Power Ranking.” It means different things to different people. Some view it as the best team, some view it as hottest team at the moment. At the end of the year, the team that wins the conference may not be No. 1 in our rankings. We had 9 voters this week.

This week [Last Week] | Team | First Place Votes

1. [1] Montana (9)

Last Week: W Vs Cal Poly 39-7

This Week: @ #6 Eastern Washington

My Ranking: 1

Unanimous numero uno! But the first real FCS test is this week on the windy inferno in Cheney on ESPN2. Look they have looked good against, you know bottom dwelling FCS teams sagarin ranked 172 & 218 (out of 258). Then of course the Husky elephant in the room a win against power 5 Washington who are 2-2 and just beat Cal in OT 31-24. Meanwhile Cal beat Sac State by only 12 the week prior.

They are getting the respect they deserve, but man oh man a win in Cheney would be huge to real quall my doubts. Per Colter Nuanez on ESPN Missoula “The red turf was installed in 2010 at Roos Field in Cheney, WA. The Griz are 0-5 since then on the Inferno.”

Not only would a win this week quall my doubts, but would probably help beat away some of the 2010s ghosts beating around Missoula. You break your 5 games lose streak to the Eagles, that game for another streak breaker November 23rd becomes less mental.

2. [2] UC Davis

Last Week:W #19 Weber State 17-14

This Week: v Idaho

My Ranking: 2

UC Davis was my darling pick this fall to be a dark horse and they are looking to be every part of it. All they have done so far is take care of business. 4-0 with FBS win, Top 15 FCS win, and two blowouts of lesser FCS opponents.

The game last week vs Weber may have just secured them a playoff spot, pending a colossal collapse. Their playoff resume sits at 4.5 wins.

QB Hunter Rodrigues is proving to be the next step at QB after Jake Maier took them to national prominence. Pair that with a top 3 RB in the Big Sky (Ulonzo Giliam Jr) and some stud pass catchers (Jared Harrell & McCallan Castles).

They have a more impressive resume than Montana, and probably have a legit gripe with these rankings and not receiving a 1st place vote. The Sagarin rankings of the teams they have beat 86, 243, 117, 228. Very comparable to Montana but with the extra win and one being Top 25 in the FCS.

Aggies fans are staring to pop out of the woodwork online and should be proud of the progress this team has made.

3. [4] Eastern Washington

Last Week W @ Southern Utah 50-21

The farewell tour headliner is this weekend at the home venue. Tickets are expensive, capacity is being added. Can Eric Barrierre have a performance like we are used to? Or will Montanas physical front 7 cause the issues for Barrierre and the band have had in the past.

The home fans and all the groupies circles this show when the calendar came out. This show is the show of shows on the tour. They have been waiting since 2016 to have this show back at home.

They need a good show. They have really only been playing smaller intimate shows. Wins vs sagarin ranked 172, 197, 144 and a team not ranked due to being D2.

They due have one comparable which is absolutely, totally and unequivocally going to show how Saturdays game will got.

Montana 42 Western Illinois 7

Eastern Washington 62 Western Illinois 56

4. [3] Montana State

Last Week: W @ Portland State 30-17

This Week: vs Northern Colorado

My Ranking 5

This one should stir some drama. You view it as either Montana State maybe having a bit of a letdown vs Portland State, or handling a “top 5 Big Sky Program” in Portland State.

When the real story is this game went exactly how it was suppose to. Spread was -13… boom, that’s a push.

For Bobcat fans, you are correct a 29 point win at Southern Utah vs 13 point win at Portland State doesn’t quite seem different, or impressive enough to justify being jumped in the poll. Then you see I have you at 5 and divert your energy to me, realizing it is probably my fault.

Look love me some Bobcats. But you guys just haven’t beaten anyone worth a damn. Sagarin ranked 244, 186, 243. By far the easiest schedule so far in the Big Sky. Just keep winning and you will move up.

5. [5] Weber State

Last Week: L vs #8 UC Davis 14-17

This Week: @ Cal Poly

My Ranking: 4

From the easiest schedule in the big sky to the hardest. Weber State has had to face two top 8 teams and a potential Pac-12 south champion. They have not had an easy time of it. To make things harder they lost their starting QB Bronson Barron for the those ranked matchups.

Not going to make excuses for them. They were suppose to be better than 1-3 entering week 5 this year. They have made it to the FCS Semi-finals before with below average QB play.

Good news is their schedule gets easier from here on out. With only 2 games that should even challenge them with 1 at home. that said they can really only afford to lose 1 more from here on out. Weber is reeling.

Oh and that ball was defiantly uncatchable.

6. [7] Sacramento State

Last Week: W @ Idaho State 23-21

This Week: Bye Week

My Ranking: 9

I still don’t quite understand why everyone else in the Big Sky Podcast network still has this team even close to floating around the top 5.

To be fair, there is a clear top tier this year and a large middle with some a few stragglers.

Right now, Sac is the king of the middle I guess.

7. [9] Portland State

Last Week: L vs #11 Montana State 17-30

This Week: @ Southern Utah

My Ranking: 6

Not a fan of losing a game and moving up in the standings. But it happens. Call it the Montana Effect. You play a team from the state of Montana and play ok, you will move up.

8. [12] Northern Colorado

Last Week: W Northern Arizona 17-10 OT

This Week: vs #11 Montana State

My Ranking: 7

They are like that Katy Perry song. They are hot, then they are cold, up and then down, in then out.

Dylan McCaffery is back in and they win the game. Without him they lose to a team like Lamar.

But even so, NAU seems to be having some struggles. They needed a bigger win to really look threatening for this season. But it appears they will play a playoff spoiler role this year. Which is better then cellar dweller like they had been.

9. [11] Idaho

Last Week: Bye Week

This Week: vs #8 UC Davis

My Ranking: 8

Talk about benefiting from some bad, bad play in front of you. When you have a -84 scoring margin in your two most recent games, probably shouldn’t move up. But hey, this pulls them closer to where I have them ranked. So maybe more people just calmed down, and looked at actual talent on the team and not the scoring margin?

10. [10] Idaho State

Last Week: L vs Sacramento State 21-23

This Week: vs Northern Arizona

My Ranking: 10

The Bengals did me dirty. 0-3 to start the season with a loss to Sac State. Just…no.

t-11. Southern Utah

Last Week: L vs #6 Eastern Washington 21-50

This Week: vs Portland State

My Ranking: 12

SUU just can’t put it together. Had a chance to catch EWU sleeping. That didn’t happen.

t-11. Northern Arizona

Last Week: L @ Northern Colorado 10-17 OT

This Week: vs Idaho State

My Ranking: 11

Just look lost on offense. Which is shocking because they are DEEP at Wideout and seemed to find the guy running the rock in Hall.

13. Cal Poly

Last Week: L @ #4 Montana 7-39

This Week: vs #19 Weber State

My Ranking:13

I mean, people believe in Baldwin, just not yet.

*** As always I”m not an journalist so, take your gramatical error comments, & put them in a beg some-Where. Hope you enjoyed the content regarless if you maid it too dis disclaimer 

😉

Vandal 2-Deeps to Start Camp

This how I view the 2-deep if the season started today instead of training camp. This was put together with things we have heard from folks close to program, things Coach Petrino said at media days and a bit of the eye test from last year.

The Offense

QB

Seems like somethings in life are certain. As a Vandal fan QB competition is one of those things. Sometimes its good, sometimes it is bad. Last season was first time since 2017 season we didn’t have a QB Competition. Beaudry was the pen in starter. Coach Petrino has been open this year senior Mike Beaudry and Freshman Caleb “CJ” Jordan will compete again.

We have seen

Linehan beat out Challich

Linehan beat out Luton

Petrino beat out Richardson x 2

Who wins now?

CJ Jordan
SeasonGPCMPATTINTYDSTDLong%AVG/PAVG/G
2020-21116270183023.596.8183.0
SeasonGPATTYDSTDLongAVG/AAVG/G
2020-21114380192.738.0

Mike Beaudry
SeasonGPCMPATTINTYDSTDLong%AVG/PAVG/G
2020-214731223794349.606.5198.5
SeasonGPATTYDSTDLongAVG/AAVG/G
2020-21425971163.924.3

The main thing for this position is finally having “the guy” and that guy staying healthy.

I would be remise, as a noted Nikhil Nayar fanboy to not say, “Don’t Sleep on Nayar!”

FB

Logan Kendall, no question. Guy is All-Big Sky and possibly All-American. If he goes down the name to know is most likely Trase Letexier a transfer from Montana that can play some Tightend as well.

RB

The myth, the man, the make Calin Criner breakdance, Aundre Carter has found himself back on the official roster. A happy site for many Vandals. I gave him the nod at starter. There is a lot to consider here though. We don’t know how fit he stayed while away and if he lost a step. I will give him benefit of the doubt right now.

It wont matter much as we really have so many solid options to carry the rock. Sophomore Nick Romano continues to impress, Redshirt Junior Roshaun Johnson has ability to close out a game, incoming freshman Elisha Cummings shows promise and should see some snaps, Redshirt Freshman Kiahn Martinez could have breakout year and what most of you are here for Redshirt Sophomore Zach Borisch is back in the RB room.

Though I expect Borisch to be a bit of Taysom Hill type. Just get him ball, whether it is RB, QB, TE, WR or KR, the guy is a W E A P O N.

WR

It is odd to say we are stacked at a position, when our offense has been anemic at best at times. But we have had a lot of new talent come in. Picking this position is a crap shoot. For instance I have Cutrell Haywood listed as a 2. That probably wont be the case, this group is just going to be a heavy rotation.

The coaches seems very high on the transfer in of Michael Graves from American River CC, Mekhi Stevenson from UNLV and Terez Traynor from Western Kentucky.

Jermaine Jackson our speedster from College of Mateo that went out after only a few very promising plays to start the season should be back.

Then you have All-Big Sky Hayden Hatten returning. Also, Some younger guys that show promise Beachem, McCormick, Puffer and Noil.

You could get dizzy keeping track of who is on the field at this position group.

OL

I am gonna be honest here, and shame on me. I am 5-foot-5 and the furthest thing from an offensive lineman. I know zero of the dudes in the trenches. I was a running back/linebacker in my youth and a cornerback in reality in high school.

Here’s what I know about the offensive line: Mathew Faupusa, Darius Archie and Logan Floyd were my picks last year and are my picks again this year.

I would expect Harwood to utilize the free year of eligibility and 4 game redshirt as he is the future. But if Chad Bagwell is healthy, I think this is his position to lose.

The real battle is at the LT spot. we have a few options to work through like, Carnahan, Transfer Straly and some younger guys like Abe Christensen, Eldride and Guzik.

Petrino spoke highly of Jory Dotts as being a mean son of a gun. I expect him to get reps with the free eligibility.

The 3-4 Defense

DL

Rinse and repeat from the spring. Rufai, Crawford and Kim should be the guys. But we will have a rotation here utilizing guys like Nate Degraw and Noah Elliss.

Malakai will be interesting to watch as well.

LB

Lets address the ELLISS in the room…. Okay, bad pun. That is the only bad thing about this section. Look losing Christina Elliss to the NFL is obviously a loss. But it is no secret, JUNIOR Tre “8 ball” Walker is larger than life right now. Tre Walkers accolades read:

2019 HERO Sports All-American Sophomore, 2nd Team All Big Sky

2020 Spring: 4 (Hero, STATS, AP, Phil Steele) 1st All-American honors, AFCS 2nd team All-American, 10th in Buck Buchanan award, 1st team All-Big Sky

2021 preseason: Big Sky defensive player of the year, Hero Sports Top Linebacker in country, Buck Buchanan watchlist, multiple 1st team All-American honors.

Starting the 5th paragraph, Tre Walker has been in all five. However, he is not alone. remind Christian Elliss struggled with injury a bit last year. Which allowed guys like Sully Shannon, Derek Tommasini, Hogan Hatten to really get a run. In fact the latter is where I’m the most worried to have left off the 2-deep. Hatten played in all 6 games last year. This group should really be a 3 deep.

Leo Tamba will “back-up” Tre, But in his time her, Leo has played in 88.88% of the games. He is slept on by even die hard vandals.

Tanner Brooks will be a Redshirt Freshman this season. When he showed up in 2019, Tanner was 6-4 224lbs. He is now 274lb. Want a name poised to explode off the page? #14 Tanner Brooks will have an impact shortly. Maybe I jumped the gun putting him in 2-deep over Hatten this season, But Christ all-might, he pops off depth chart at you.

Fa’avae Fa’avae may have “under preformed” by expectations i put on him last season. That said joining a program in middle of pandemic, playing in all six games and having a Root Sports player of the week game with 18 tackles vs SUU. I feel safe to say he was still highly productive and will take another step forward.

Akanno spent most of the spring trying to shake the rust from 2019 season. He showed flashes of his old self. We know that old self, is a potential All-American.

Look coach Petrino love Tommasini. I truly think that is the guy that will step into that lineup. But guys like Shannon, Hatten and Coleman will probably get looks.

The Back End

We got athletes. Safety vs Corner is a feeling for me.

Yes, we had a terrible secondary last season. Some of that is talent, some of this is the Big Sky conference is an air-out league.

Though we were bad Im still giving the incumbents their jobs back to start camp. Hoover and Dedmon are leaders in the locker room.

This could be my bias. I want Zamajay to be the savior of this secondary. I want another Keo. I am a Seahawks fan. Nothing is more fun than a lights out secondary. Zamajay Duncan is one of our highest recruits ever! I tampered my expectations and put him in the nickle spot for year uno.

Transfer are key to turn this group around short term. We brought in Jeremiah Salaam from Kent State. And yes Kent State might lose to half the Big Sky, why do you think he bounced? He played in 21 games in two season and we need experience. Also, balls.

Another transfer KJ Jarrel looks positioned to win the SS spot. The Sun Devil transfer has a very high ceiling and seems to be quick to the ball. One of those athletes I mentioned at the top, athlete, could easily play corner as well.

Parker and Jones could also make some noise.

*** As always I”m not an journalist so, take your gramatical error comments, & put them in a beg some-Where. Hope you enjoyed the content regarless if you maid it too dis disclaimer 

😉

Who Will Win The Big Sky?

The Big Sky is one of the deepest conference top to bottom. Predicting a winner is difficult. Last year was my first attempt to take emotion out of it and use analytics to predict the winner. How I did this was combination of a “True Skill Ranking” and “Strength of Schedule” calculation.

Before we get into this year. It is a fair question to ask, How did last year go? How accurate is this? It is a little difficult to compare as I originally completed predicitons before five Big Sky Schools opted out of Spring. Lets look anyway with removing the teams that did not play and adjusting.

Predicted FinishTeamPredicted RecordActual FinishTeamActual Record
1Weber State6-01Weber State5-0
2E.Washington5-12E.Washington5-1
t3UC Davis4-2t3UC Davis3-2
t3N.Arizona4-2t3N.Arizona3-2
5Idaho2-4t5Idaho2-4
t-6Idaho State1-5t5Idaho State2-4
t-6Cal Poly1-57S.Utah1-5
8S.Utah0-68Cal Poly0-3

I will let you all determine if this was succesful or not, especially with last springs circumstances. But at least now you know how it did.

This season will be a test as all 13 current Big Sky Football Conference teams are playing. This is also only looking at the conference schedule. The out of conference schedule has not been included. Also the database used to calculate my True Skill rankings are not released yet. These prediciton are stricly of SOS and leave room for updating before conference kickoff.

Before we get into predicitons, lets take a look at some of the oddities of the 2nd annual Strength of Schedule Tub Table.

Obviously this system is not perfect, I am the first to acknowledge this. As Weber State (Preseason pick to win conference) benefits from not playing themselves and vice versa Northern Colorado and Cal Poly are punished for not playing themselves.

That being said it is the second time in as many seasons Weber State has the path of least resistance to win the championship. Montana State and Eastern Washington have a weird scenario too. Eastern Washington has the toughest schedule at home (Montana,Idaho,Weber & Montana State). While Montana State has toughest road schedule (Portland State, Weber State, Eastern Washington & Montana). Then they swap and Eastern has the least difficult road schedule. While Montana State has by far the easiest schedule at home. sidenote, I honestly wonder how season ticket sales are going with no Choate, 18 months of no football and a lackluster home schedule.

If you are looking for this years dark horse, Northern Arizona harbors 3rd easiest schedule and only by 2 points. The Standard Deviation for strength of schedule is 9.4. Being only 2 points off from easiest schedule is a big benefit to the lumberjacks of Flagstaff. To their defense, Shaun Rainey of SWX Montana and Colter Nuanez of Skyline Sports have been high on Portland State, Even saying they are top four in big sky. They do have 5th easiest schedule in the conference and could be one of those annual dark horses the big sky seems to get every year.

Okay enough of me nerding out over schedule strength statistics that really dont mean anything once the ball is kicked off to what you are all here for… using those useless statistics to make analytical predictions for each team in the conference.

t13. Cal Poly 0-8

t13. Northern Colorado 0-8

11. Southern Utah 1-7

t10. Portland State 2-6

t10. Idaho State 2-6

8. Idaho 3-5

t5.Northern Arizona 5-3

t5. Montana State 5-3

t5. UC Davis 5-3

t3. Eastern Washington 7-1

t3. Sac State 7-1

t1. Montana 8-0

t1. Weber State 8-0

Reminder these are not my predictions. You can tune into our live youtube show August 10th around 8 PT with Skyline Sports Colter Nuanez to hear how myself and the rest of the team think conference season will go.

*** As always I”m not an journalist so, take your gramatical error comments, & put them in a beg some-Where. Hope you enjoyed the content regarless if you maid it too dis disclaimer 😉