Idaho Preps With FCS Potential

Big Sky Recruiting of The State of Idaho

The State of Idaho has been steadily growing as a High School Football recruiting ground for College Football. Idaho has produced some phenomenal FBS talents in recent times like Taysom Hill, Leighton Vander Esch, Shea McClellin, Taylor Kelly and Tanner Mangum. We also just had a guy like Jonah Elliss out of Moscow High be highly recruited and looks to possibly be the next NFL guy from the state of Idaho.

But for everyone of those guys, there are so many talented individuals coming from Idaho. I worked with Justin Jackson, the founder of Rare Academy ID, to identify some guys that have FCS potential. Even a few I was cautious to post about. According to Justin, there are some SERIOUS sleepers in this years class.

Big Sky schools are starting to notice the talent in the state as well. There are 72 players from the state currently on a Big Sky roster for the 21-22 season. Maybe the more important stat, the blue bloods of the conference have taken notice.

Big Sky Schools # of Idaho Players
Cal Poly0
Eastern Washington2
Idaho19
Idaho State29
Montana4
Montana State6
Northern Arizona0
Northern Colorado0
Sacramento State0
Southern Utah0
UC Davis1
Weber State11
TOTAL72

Weber State has won the Big Sky 4 years in a row now and in 2019 made the FCS semi-finals. They have 11 players from the State of Idaho. This includes 2x All-Conference and current Preseason All-Conference Junior George Taralas from Borah High in Boise.

Montana State also has dipped their toe in the Idaho waters when head coach Jeff Choate was at the helm. The St. Maries kid and former BSU assistant knew the gems in the gem state. Tucker Rovig of Mountain View led them under center to the semi-finals of the 2019 FCS Playoffs.

Another former Bronco, UC Davis head ball coach Dan Hawkins has been recruiting the Treasure Valley pretty heavy since taking the helm for the Aggies. He may not have won many of the recruiting battles, but he offers a healthy amount of Idaho kids.

FCS PROSPECTS

Over the course of a couple phone calls and a few of the RARE Academy Idaho camps we has compiled a list of guys in the state that are FCS Prospects.

RARE Academy Idaho is an all-year training academy for kids throughout the whole state. This is not only physical training, but they do alot to help with the mental side of being an athlete and making the move to the college environment. Like many of you, Justin and his team see the potential growing in this State and just want to help these kids get the offers they are capable of. Then have the tools to succeed physically and mentally once on campus.

If you have never checked them out, you should. Its more of a have to see it to believe it. What they do for recruits in this State is amazing and one of a kind. They are only going to continue to grow and help your sons, nephews, neighbors be recognized and preforming at their peak.

The have a staff of former FBS players including Idahos own Brady Strodtbeck who cleared holes for Vandal running backs during the 2016 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

Some are borderline FBS guys, others could be PWO/D2 type guys. But this is the crop of dudes to keep your eye on and go see if their team is in your area this season.

PlayerPositionSchool
Davis ThackerWRMeridian
Ethan MikitaWREagle
Kade ThompsonWRRocky Mountain
Trais HigginsWRNampa
Ethan CastilloWRCapital
Garret LavinWRTimberline
Jackson MasonWRRocky Mountain
Gavin CappsWRJerome
Fisher ClementsTEMt.View
Isaiah SawyerTEMt. View
Will VailTEMelba
Gage JonesSEagle
Adam BallRBSt. Regis
Cross AntonnacchiRBMeridian
Taylor MarcumRBTimberline
Brett SpencerQB Weiser
Tiger AdolphoQBRigby
Carter FortinQBCole Valley
Malakai MartinezQBMeridian
Kaimen PeeblesQBSouth Freemont
Owen ToledoOLRocky Mountain
Gunnar ClarkOLMountain Home
Talin TogiaiOLRigby
Seth KnotheLBBishop Kelly
Caden KelleyLBRocky Mountain
AJ EdwardsLBRocky Mountain
Garrett McKennaLBMountain View
Jackson BergerLBCDA
AJ EdwardsLBRocky Mountain
Landyn YoungDLRocky Mountain
Liam ReevesDLTimberline
Jaxson WashingtonDLCDA
Deion TawzerDLRigby
Charles JudyDLSkyview
Jackson BeckDLMountain View
Aiden WhippleDLMountain View
Zachary ClarkDBPost Falls
Alameen AbimdolaDBMountain View
Casey CopeATHVallivue
Tao JohnsonATHThunder Ridge

There is loads of talent on this list. But there are a couple guys I want to highlight. Particularly in terms of Idaho going after them. I’m going to spotlight a few in no particular order.

Adam Ball 6’0 200lbs RB #17 St. Regis

I know this could be looked at as cheating since St.Regis the town is technically in Montana. But it is a border town and Adam is attending the RARE Academy Idaho showcases. He is not just attending, he is preforming. When Justin talks about this kid, you hear it in his voice. He is something special. He is the reason something like RARE exists.

If there is one name to take away from this piece. It is Adam Ball. Justin speaks so highly of this guy I am planning on attending a St. Regis game in person this season. (Scroll down for a list of MUST catch games this fall). Ball has been a standout at every event and is still under the radar. Almost, so much so, I just wanted to leave him off the list and just text our coaches about offering this kid. I just couldn’t not mention him, he deserves the recognition and WILL BE the steal of this class.

Davis Thacker 6’3 205lbs WR # 6 Meridian

Davis is the brother of Damen Thacker who just started 23 games for the Vandal hoops team. We know Paul Petrino is always talking about “family”. He loves recruiting sons, brothers, nephews of coaches, former players etc. Damen Thacker did transfer out and was apart of a different athletics program, but this is a move I would not be surprised to see our athletic department make.

Davis currently does not have any offers.

Taylor Marcum 6’0 185lbs RB #21 Timberline

If you follow prep football, this one is obvious. Taylor Marcum is one of the highly recruited guys in the state. In fact on July 18th he committed to Montana State. But, we have seen recently verbals change before NSD. He has an offer from the Vandals and Idaho is building a bit of a pedigree of giving in-state RBs playing time. Lets not forget the first play of the 2019 season against Penn State, Paul put in true freshman Nick Romano RB from Rocky Mountain and threw the ball to him. He is not afraid to say RBs from the state of Idaho are big time.

Garret Lavin 6’1 180lbs WR #19 Timberline

Yes, back to back Timberline guys. But, me myself, I am a Timberline guy. “The strength of the pack is the wolf and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”

Garrett is another legacy type guy. He comes from a Vandal family and just a guy I would love to see be given a shot. Even if our receiver room is getting crowded.

He does not currently have any offers.

Gage Jones 6’1 185lbs DB Eagle

Likely the best defensive back in the State, Gage is poised to have one heck of a season. With a few seasons now of poor secondary play. Getting this local stud would go along way to sure up the backend.

Jaxson Washington 6’1 260lbs DL #78 Couer D Alene

The kid is just one of those grinders. He has got a gym in the garage at home and from looks of it has spent some time with his second cousin Washington States star RB Max Borghi. He also is a very good wrestler, which is a extra bonus in a lineman. He also won the RARE Showcases events top 6 lineman honors.

The Vikes have put out loads of division one talent in the past decade. It is a program you trust. Our defensive line isn’t getting any younger. We should be looking to add 2 to 3 guys on the line in this class.

He currently has 3 offers from a few NAIA and such schools, some sort of offer from the Bengals in Pocatello. But looks to be getting looks from and Montana. His father is a former walk-on and they are a big Griz Family. They have been exposed to the Vandals and we could get him, but if Montana offers (especially before us) it would be hard to win this recruiting battle.

Malakai Martinez 6’0 180lbs QB #3 Meridian

Maybe a bit under the radar until recently. He is starting to show-up everywhere. He was one of if not the first QB Justin gave me. Then on August 8th he was announced the 6th best QB in The Northwest 9 the QB camp former guest of the podcast Taylor Barton runs.

Right now has no offers, I know Idaho has brought in the likes of CJ Jordan, Gevani McCoy and MacCloud Crowton. But you can never have too many QBs.

Hayden Klincheloe 5’10 215lb RB #23 Homedale

This one is a me pick. I watched Hayden in 3A state semis and final last season. He was hard not to notice. I turned to my friend I was in attendance with and said “this is the type of kid Idaho needs to offer.” I later learn he comes from a deep vandal family.

Feedback I got throught the grapevine is his speed is a concern. Well, if you can’t tackle him it doesn’t really matter does it?!

Hayden Klincheloe in State Playoffs Photo By: Chris Hammond

Games To Catch FCS Talent

For some of you football nuts out there, you want to catch these guys before they may suit up for or against the silver and gold in the coming years. I compiled a list of games to catch to watch some of this FCS talent under friday night lights around this beautiful state.

Week 1

Treasure Valley

Mountain View vs Meridian – Meridian,ID (Mountain View, HS)

  • 9 possible FCS guys

Capital vs Nampa – Boise, ID (Donnar Larson Park)

  • 1 Possible FCS guy

Eagle vs Bishop Kelly – Boise, ID (Bishop Kelly HS)

  • 3 possible FCS guys

Magic Valley

Buhl vs Weiser – Buhl, ID

  • 1 Possible FCS guy

Twin Falls vs Vallivue – Twin Falls, ID

  • 1 Possible FCS guy

Week 2

Spokane-CDA Area

Lakeside vs St. Regis – Plummer, ID

  • 1 Possible FCS STUD

Treasure Valley

Rocky Mountain vs Mountain View – Meridian, ID (Rocky Mountain HS)

  • 13 Possible FCS guys

Nampa vs Skyview – Nampa, ID (Skyview HS)

  • 3 Possible FCS guys

Idaho Falls

Rigby vs Post Falls – Rigby, ID

  • 5 Possible FCS guys

Week 3

Spokane-CDA Area

Koontenai vs St.Regis – Harrison, ID

  • 1 possible FCS STUD

Treasure Valley

Rocky Mountain vs Meridian – Meridian, ID (Rocky Mountai HS)

  • 11 Possible FCS guys

Week 4

Spokane-CDA Area

Clark Fork vs St. Regis – Clark Fork, ID

  • 1 Possible FCS STUD

Post Falls vs Mount Si (WA) – Post Falls, ID

  • 2 Possible FCS guys

Magic Valley

Thunder Ridge vs Rigby – Twin Falls (Thunder Ridge HS)

  • 4 Possible FCS guys

Week 5

Treasure Valley

Skyview vs Rocky Mountain – Nampa, ID

  • 10 Possible FCS guys

Melba vs Cole Valley – Melba, ID

  • 2 Possible FCS guys

Week 6

Treasure Valley

Eagle vs Timberline – Eagle, ID

  • 5 Possible FCS guys

Meridian v Skyview – Meridian, ID

  • 5 Possible FCS Guys

Week 7

Treasure Valley

Timberline vs Rocky Mountain – Boise, ID (Donna Larson Park)

  • 11 Possible FCS guys

Skyview vs Eagle – Nampa, ID (Skyview HS)

  • 4 Possible FCS guys

Magic Valley

Canyon Ridge vs Mountain Home – Twin Falls (Canyon Ridge HS)

  • 1 Possible FCS guy

Week 8

Treasure Valley

Homedale vs Weiser – Homedale, ID

  • 2 Possible FCS guys

Vallivue vs Bishop Kelly – Caldwell, ID (Vallivue HS)

  • 2 Possible FCS guys

Timberline vs Skyview – Boise, ID (Donna Larson Park)

  • 5 Possible FCS guys

Spokane-CDA

Coeur d’Alene v Post Falls – Coeur d’Alene, ID

  • 4 Possible FCS guys

Idaho Falls

Sugar-Salem vs South Fremont – Sugar City, ID

Week 9

Treasure Valley

Rocky Mountain vs Meridian – Meridian, ID (Rocky Mountain HS)

  • 11 Possible FCS guys

*** 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 

😉

Tubs Preseason Big Sky Poll

We submitted three polls to the conference office. Here is how the three of us voted and why.

Chris
Brian
Dallas
1Weber StateMontanaWeber State
2EWUMontana StateEWU
3MontanaWeber StateMontana
4UC DavisEWUSac State
5Montana StateSac StateMontana State
6NAUUC DavisUC Davis
7Idaho StateIdahoIdaho State
8IdahoIdaho StateNAU
9SUUUNCIdaho
10Sac StateSUUSUU
11Cal PolyPortland StatePortland State
12UNCNAUUNC
13Portland StateCal PolyCal Poly

For those of you that read our Preseason All-Conference Team post you can see our picks for All-Conference lead to our opinions on our polls.

Further Explanations

Chris:

  • Weber State at 1 – The Wildcats return possibly the best Secondary in the FCS. Three members of the secondary made our All-Tubs Team. Bronson Barron (technically a true freshman still) had barely been on campus and had to compete for starting job last season. That is not the case this fall, he will be receiving all the reps. Pair that with former Jerry Rice Award winner Josh Davis and an emerging stable of backs returning. The Achilles heel of this program, the offense, has to take a step forward. Even if the offense doesn’t improve, they have still won four straight Big Sky titles. Why would I bet against them?

  • Montana at 3 – Look even with some “?” still at QB. This team returns a lot of talent. How bad could it be when you get to throw to Maybe the best WR in the FCS, Sammy Akem. If the QB works out, they could easily win the conference. But right now with Weber returning Bronson & Eastern returning EB3, I gave them the SMALL nod over the Griz. Its going to be a close race this year.

  • Sacramento State at 10 – I understand I’m sticking my neck out with this one. I just think the 2019 season was a flash in the pan. I expect this team to be closer to their 42-28 home playoff loss to start the playoffs, more then the 49-22 win vs the Griz. The Hornets in my opinion benefited greatly from being a sleeper until about half way through the 2019 season, an out of nowhere QB (who has since transferred out) and no one having tape on first time head ball coach Troy Taylor. I expect them to struggle early and maybe make a charge late. Are they the 10th best team in conference probably not, probably a bit better. But weeks 1 thru 6 I expect them to play below where most people have them. Most throw out the easy schedule this year as a reason to have them high. I think the easy schedule will catch them sleep walking with rust early. Though lighting can strike the same spot twice…

Brian:

  • Weber State at 3 – Defending Big Sky champion Weber State (finally) looks vulnerable. The Wildcats won a single spring game by a margin greater than a touchdown–with all of those nail biters coming against teams that will be picked in the bottom half of this fall’s season–but Weber’s schedule, and Jay Hill’s tendency to just never lose games he shouldn’t, makes a 6-2 (in conference) floor all but locked in.

  • Idaho at 7 – This vote was a strict judgement of talent–which should put Idaho not in the top tier of the conference, but close enough to talk yourself into yet another but maybe this year discussion.

    Which is lunacy.

    We all know the Idaho blueprint from the previous three years: stay competitive at home, but faceplant on the road. Hang with, or knock off a playoff-level team, then stumble in comical fashion against the Northern Colorados, or Northern Arizonas occupying league’s bottom tier. Never mind that Idaho has its toughest league schedule since rejoining the Big Sky. 

    So yes: in my written-in-blood preseason poll, Idaho sits at number seven. And yes: the moment my poll was officially sent, I could not believe their slot was higher than ten.

  • Northern Colorado at 9 – Consider Northern Colorado a composite character of Idaho, Idaho State, Southern Utah, and Northern Arizona: it’s an absolute crap shoot rating any of those teams above each other. Before the Bears land higher than ninth, we’ll need to see the fruits of Coach McCaffrey produce. The talent influx following McCaffrey alone will make Northern Colorado at least good enough to spoil someone else’s playoff hopes, but with the promising spring efforts from other projected lower-tier teams, there’s too crowded a field of candidates to repeat the out-of-nowhere rises of UC Davis and Sacramento State to rate Northern Colorado much higher.   

Dallas:

  • Eastern Washington at 2 – Eric Barriere is one of the best players in the entire FCS, and when you have a quarterback like him running the show, you’re going to have at least a puncher’s chance in every game. Yes, their questionable defense allowed 35 straight points in the first round of the spring playoffs to a weakened North Dakota State. Yes, the receivers drop more passes than they should. Yes, they have an extremely tough conference schedule this year. But, their three toughest games (Montana, Montana State, Weber State) are all in Cheney this year and I’d expect they win two of the three to keep themselves just behind Weber in the conference standings. Even in their last true down year (2015, when Vernon Adams transferred to play his final year at Oregon), they tied for fourth in conference, going 5-3 with two losses to ranked teams.

  • UC Davis at 6 – UC Davis has a deep cast of receivers, a solid defense (as Vandal fans likely remember), and one of the best running backs in the conference. QB Hunter Rodrigues had 21 FCS passes to his name coming into 2021 and may have benefited more from the spring season than any other athlete. So why do I have them sixth? Weber State, Eastern Washington, and the Montana schools certainly look better on paper and should all slot in as top five finishers, even if they trade losses around. I don’t see the Aggies beating Weber State (and yes, I know they had a double digit lead on the Wildcats last season) or Eastern Washington. Even if they beat Sacramento State in the Causeway Classic to finish the year, I don’t think a game in hand on the Hornets helps, courtesy of the absolute gift of a schedule Sacramento State got this year. Nothing against UC Davis, but a top five finish doesn’t seem to be in the cards.

  • Idaho at 9 – Every year it seems I talk myself into Idaho finally becoming a bully in the Big Sky. Take one look at the schedule and you’ll realize why I’m not doing that this year. The Vandals could be favored in three of their four home conference games, but even if they won out at home with an upset of Montana, they will not be favored in a single road game this season. I don’t think they win a single game outside of Moscow this year, even without Paul Petrino’s track record of failure away from the Kibbie Dome. There’s plenty of talent on this team, just like there was in the spring, but I don’t see any reason to believe that it magically clicks this season. 4-4 in conference is the ceiling for this team if things go well, and 2-6 is certainly on the table. We’re looking at another long year.

Ranking the Schools out West

authors note: I originally wrote this piece “The Company You Keep” in late 2018. It’s intention was to compare Idaho to the other division 1 institutes out west. In statistics I saw relevant with intentions of creating new a FBS Conference, using the “Front Porch Argument”.  I ened up not posting it because I felt it lack anything solid to my argument of needing a new land grant FBS conference and had to many cherry picked stats and ignored the others. 

However, with the recent development at Eastern Washington about cutting athletics. This coupled with our upcoming FCS v FBS live podcast on April 17th. The research I preformed provides a bit of a lense on Eastern and Idaho in the greater picture out west.

The numbers used are slightly outdated now. This is being published simply because I now feel it provides some additional information in the wake of current news. It does not fit the narrative initially used through the piece.

 

The Company You Keep.

 

There have been many opinions on Idaho in the FCS.  I want to compare the situation with something not talk as much about. Where are Idahos “Peer” Institute? FBS or FCS? People say football is the front porch to a university. They never talk about the neighborhood the front porch is in. Now decide if it is better to have the best front porch in the least desirable neighborhood or the worst front porch in the most desirable neighborhood. Today we are going to look at all the “Western” neighborhoods and have people decide where they think Idaho’s front porch would be best located.

I am going to do my best to layout just the statistics and let people come to their own conclusions. After reading article I encourage everyone to comment below or tweet us @TubsAtTheClub with what you found from article. I will provide some commentary after each statistical grouping.

I am going to limit this to the west. West will be as if you trace the border from south to north of the Texas Louisiana border and on its way north of States with DI sports. I also leave out the state of Texas. The reason I do this is simply the Eastern seaboard, Midwest, South & Texas just have more quantity of schools and history, paired with different challenges from the west. The West is very different in university structure then the rest.

One of the biggest things is Land Grant institutions. Land grant institutes will be typically the most similar Universities to Idaho. Another being Endowment and Enrollment. For Athletics, we are going to look at Facilities (to the best of our abilities), Attendance and budget.

These will be broken down in 4 “Neighborhoods” Pac 12, Mountain West, Big Sky & other. The first 3 are obviously western conferences. The “other” category is made of independents out west or schools belonging to other conferences along our imaginary boundary we setup for the west.

The Land Grant institutions in the states we are considering possible peer institutes are:

North Dakota State

South Dakota State

Nebraska

Kansas State

Oklahoma State

Montana State

Wyoming

Colorado State

New Mexico State

Idaho

Utah State

Arizona

Washington State

Oregon State

Nevada-Reno

California – Berkeley

Hawaii – Manoa

 

ENDOWMENT

According to the 2016 Endowment Numbers Idaho’s Endowment is $237.5 Million. We are going to look at Schools in the west from top to bottom to see where we rank.

Big Sky Mountain West Pac 12 Others
UC Davis

$1.6 Billion

IDAHO

$237.5 MILLION


North Dakota

$230.6 Million

Cal Poly

$190.3 Million

Montana

$167.3 Million

Northern Arizona

$143.9 Million

Montana State

$138.2 Million

Weber State

$110.6 Million

Northern Colorado

$76.3 Million

Portland State*

$73 Million

Idaho State* (2017)

$53 Million

Sacramento State

$39.5 Million

Eastern Washington

$18.4 Million

Southern Utah

(Not Available?)

Wyoming

$422.2 Million

New Mexico

$393.2

Million

Utah State

$325.5 Million

Nevada

$302.6 Million

Colorado State

$286.3 Million

Hawaii

$271.1 Million

IDAHO

$237.5 MILLION


UNLV

$230.8 Million

San Diego State

$219.9 Million

Fresno State

$146.3 Million

San Jose State

$125.6 Million

Boise State

$88.8 Million

Air Force (Academies don’t make release)

Stanford

$22.2 Billion

USC

$4.6 Billion

Washington

$2.9 Billion

UCLA

$1.6 Billion

Cal-Berkeley

$1.5 Billion

Colorado

$1 Billion

Utah

$1 Billion

Washington State

$907.8 Million

Oregon

$758.6 Million

Arizona

$754.6 Million

Arizona State

$612.5 Million

Oregon State

$492.5 Million

IDAHO

$237.5 MILLION


 

 

 

 

Oklahoma

$1.5 Billion

Nebraska

$1.4 Billion

Kansas

$1.4 Billion

Tulsa

$957.5 Million

Oklahoma State

$847 Million

Kansas State

$457.3 Million

San Diego

$449.7 Million

IDAHO

$237.5 MILLION


New Mexico State

$214.7 Million

South Dakota

$209 Million

North Dakota State

$150.4 Million

South Dakota State

$104.7 Million

BYU

(Religious institutes don’t release)

 

 

* Numbers found on different source than the res

 

 

ENROLLMENT

 

Idaho 2018 Enrollment 12k

Big Sky Mountain West Pac 12 Others
UC Davis

37.2k

Northern Arizona

31k

Sacramento State

30.6k @

Weber State

27.9k

Portland State

27.3k @

Cal Poly

22.1k

Montana State

16.9k

North Dakota

14.4k

Idaho State

13.3k

Northern Colorado

12.9k

Eastern Washington

12.6k @

IDAHO

12k


Montana

10.6k

Southern Utah

9.4k

San Diego State

30.1k @

San Jose State

27.7k @

Colorado State

25.9k

UNLV

25.2k @

Utah State

24.6k

Fresno State

22.2k

Boise State

20.7k @

New Mexico

19.5k

Nevada

18.3k

Hawaii

12.8k

IDAHO

12k


Wyoming

9.7k

Air Force

4.2k

 

 

UCLA

45.5k

USC

43k

Arizona State

42.4k

Arizona

35.1k

Washington

31.3k

Cal-Berkeley

30.5k

Washington State

29.6k

Colorado

29k

Oregon State

25.8k

Utah

24.6k

Oregon

22.9k

IDAHO

12k


Stanford

7k

 

 

 

 

BYU

31.2k

Oklahoma

22.8k

Nebraska

20.9k

Oklahoma State

20.9k

Kansas

19.3k

Kansas State

18.4k

IDAHO

12k


North Dakota State

11.9k

New Mexico State

11.7k

South Dakota State

10.8k

South Dakota

10.2k

San Diego

9k

Tulsa

3.3k

 

 

@ Considered a commuter School

 

World Report & US News Best School 2019 Rankings

Idaho is #165(t)

Big Sky Mountain West Pac 12 Others
UC Davis

38(t)

IDAHO

165(t)


Montana

201(t)

Montana State

205(t)

North Dakota

205(t)

Northern Colorado

230-301(t)

Northern Arizona

230-301(t)

Portland State

230-301(t)

Eastern Washington

Not Ranked

Southern Utah

Not Ranked

Sacramento State

Not Ranked

Weber State

Not Ranked

Cal Poly

Not Ranked

Idaho State

Not Ranked

San Diego State

127(t)

Colorado State

140(t)

Hawaii

157(t)

IDAHO

165(t)


Wyoming

183(t)

New Mexico

187(t)

Nevada

201(t)

Utah State

205(t)

Fresno State

205(t)

UNLV

230-301

Boise State

230-301

San Jose State

NR

Air Force

NR

 

 

Stanford

7

UCLA

19

Cal-Berkeley

22(t)

USC

22(t)

Washington

59(t)

Colorado

96(t)

Oregon

102(t)

Arizona

106(t)

Arizona State

115(t)

Utah

119(t)

Washington State

140(t)

Oregon State

140(t)

IDAHO

165(t)


 

 

 

 

BYU

60(t)

San Diego

85(t)

Tulsa

106(t)

Nebraska

129(t)

Kansas

129(t)

Kansas State

147(t)

Oklahoma State

157(t)

IDAHO

165(t)


New Mexico State

221(t)

North Dakota State

215(t)

South Dakota State

226(t)

South Dakota

226(t)

Oklahoma

Not Ranked

 

 

(t) Tie

 

Stadium Capacity

Idaho is 16,000

Big Sky Mountain West Pac 12 Others
Montana

25,200

Sacramento State

21,195

Montana State

19,000

Weber State

17,000

IDAHO

16,000


Northern Arizona

15,300

North Dakota

12,283

Idaho State

12,000

Cal Poly

11,075

UC Davis

10,849

Eastern Washington

8,600*

Northern Colorado

8,533

Southern Utah

8,500

Portland State

7,600%

 

San Diego State

70,561

Hawaii

50,000

Air Force

46,692

Colorado State

41,200

Fresno State

41,031

New Mexico

39,224

UNLV

36,800

Boise State

36,387

San Jose State

30,456

Wyoming

29,181

Nevada

26,000

Utah State

25,513

IDAHO

16,000


 

 

 

UCLA

90,888

USC

77,500

Washington

70,500

Cal-Berkeley

62,717

Arizona State

56,232

Arizona

56,029

Oregon

54,000

Stanford

50,424

Colorado

50,183

Utah

45,807

Oregon State

45,674

Washington State

32,248

IDAHO

16,000


 

 

 

Oklahoma

86,112

Nebraska

86,047

BYU

63,470

Oklahoma State

60,218

Kansas

50,071

Kansas State

50,000

New Mexico State

30,343

Tulsa

30,000

South Dakota State

19,340

North Dakota State

19,000

IDAHO

16,000


South Dakota

10,000

San Diego

6,000

 

* Started fundraising/have real plans for new stadium

% Play a few game in larger facility

 

Now that we see where everyone in the conferences out west rank lets rank all schools 1 through 50 in all the categories above and this should start What 12-13 schools are most similar in all subjects. I will then sort everyone by their average finish in the categories and create 4 new “Neighborhoods” as they were.

Endowment Enrollment School Ranking Stadium Capacity
1.      Stanford

2.      USC

3.      Washington

4.      UCLA

5.      UC Davis

6.      Cal-Berkeley

7.      Oklahoma

8.      Nebraska

9.      Kansas

10.      Colorado

11.   Utah

12.   Tulsa

13.   Washington State

14.   Oklahoma State

15.   Oregon

16.   Arizona

17.   Arizona State

18.   Oregon State

19.   Kansas state

20.   San Diego

21.   Wyoming

22.   New Mexico

23.   Utah State

24.   Nevada

25.   Colorado State

26.   Hawaii

27.   Idaho


28.   UNLV

29.   North Dakota

30.   San Diego State

31.   New Mexico State

32.   South Dakota

33.   Cal Poly

34.   Montana

35.   North Dakota State

36.   Fresno State

37.   Northern Arizona

38.   Montana State

39.   San Jose State

40.   Weber State

41.   South Dakota State

42.   Boise State

43.   Portland State

44.   Idaho State

45.   Sacramento State

46.   Eastern Washington

47.   Southern Utah

1.      UCLA

2.      USC

3.      Arizona State

4.      UC Davis

5.      Arizona

6.      Washington

7.      BYU

8.      Northern Arizona

9.      Sacramento State

10.   Cal-Berkeley

11.   San Diego State

12.   Washington State

13.   Colorado

14.   Weber State

15.   San Jose State

16.   Portland State

17.   Colorado State

18.   Oregon State

19.   UNLV

20.   Utah

21.   Utah State

22.   Oregon

23.   Oklahoma

24.   Fresno State

25.   Cal Poly

26.   Nebraska

27.   Oklahoma State

28.   Boise State

29.   New Mexico

30.   Kansas

31.   Kansas State

32.   Nevada

33.   Montana State

34.   North Dakota

35.   Idaho state

36.   Northern Colorado

37.   Hawaii

38.   Eastern Washington

39.   Idaho


40.   North Dakota State

41.   New Mexico State

42.   South Dakota State

43.   Montana

44.   South Dakota

45.   Wyoming

46.   Southern Utah

47.   San Diego

48.   Stanford

49.   Air Force

50.   Tulsa

1.      Stanford

2.      UCLA

3.      Cal-Berkeley

3.    USC

5.    UC Davis

6.    Washington

7.    BYU

8.    San Diego

9.    Colorado

10.  Oregon

11.  Tulsa

11.  Arizona

13.  Arizona State

14.  Utah

15.  San Diego State

16.  Nebraska

16.  Kansas

18.  Washington State

18.  Oregon State

18.  Colorado State

21.  Kansas State

22.  Oklahoma State

22.  Hawaii

24.  Idaho


25.  Wyoming

26.  New Mexico

27.  Nevada

27.  Montana

29.  Montana State

29.  Utah State

29.  Fresno State

29.  North Dakota

33.  North Dakota State

34.  New Mexico State

35.  South Dakota state

35.  South Dakota

37.  Northern Colorado

37.  Northern Arizona

37.  Portland State

37.  UNLV

37.  Boise State

42.  Oklahoma

42.  San Jose State

42.  Air Force

42.  Eastern Washington

42.  Southern Utah

42.  Sacramento State

42.  Weber State

42.  Cal Poly

42. Idaho State

 

1.      UCLA

2.      Oklahoma

3.      Nebraska

4.      USC

5.      San Diego State

6.      Washington

7.      BYU

8.      Cal-Berkeley

9.      Oklahoma state

10.   Arizona State

11.   Arizona

12.   Oregon

13.   Stanford

14.   Colorado

15.   Kansas

16.   Kansas State

17.   Hawaii

18.   Air Force

19.   Utah

20.   Oregon State

21.   Colorado State

22.   Fresno State

23.   New Mexico

24.   UNLV

25.   Boise State

26.   Washington State

27.   San Jose State

28.   New Mexico State

29.   Tulsa

30.   Wyoming

31.   Nevada

32.   Utah state

33.   Montana

34.   Sacramento State

35.   South Dakota State

36.   North Dakota State

37.   Montana State

38.   Weber State

39.   Idaho


40.   Northern Arizona

41.   North Dakota

42.   Idaho State

43.   Cal Poly

44.   UC Davis

45.   South Dakota

46.   Eastern Washington

47.   Northern Colorado

48.   Southern Utah

49.   Portland State

50.   San Diego

Interesting takeaways. Stanford literally might lose an amount larger than Eastern Washington’s Endowment and not even notice. The whole Pac 12 is by far the best neighborhood in terms of Endowment. I know what a surprise (just like Boise States Endowment). There numbers are extremely high (except poor Oregon State) while having 4 land grant institutions.

Some more surprising statistics when looking at these numbers (other than Southern Utah not existing apparently) is Idaho would be Smack dab in the middle of Mountain west conference; which contains 5 of the 17 Land Grant institutions out west.

What 12 Schools are most similar compared to Idaho?

Wyoming, Montana, Montana State & South Dakota -3

New Mexico, Utah State, Colorado State, Hawaii, North Dakota, Cal Poly, Idaho State, North Dakota State-2

Breakdown by conference

0 Pac 12 schools

5 Mountain West Schools

6 Big Sky Schools

2 Other Western Schools.

 

Idaho fits best with Mountain West and Big Sky.

 

Fixing Idahos Future Schedule

The Big Sky Conference did fans and schools a huge favor last year by releasing the future conference schedules through 2023. Benefiting the schools, by now knowing exactly what dates they have open to schedule out of conference opponents.

For Idaho fans, this is a bit of a downer. You will notice there are not many out of conference games that catch the eye. Even less will be beneficial towards a playoff appearance. I will grade each current schedule, then provide my realistic fixes to each season.

2020 Schedule

Schedule-2020Since the 2020 season kickoff, is in only 7 months, the schedule is set in stone. week 1 Idaho opens the season against a division 2 side in Western Oregon. The week 2 Temple game is a return trip from the 2013 independent season when Idaho hosted the owls and went on to win the game 26-24. The Vandals wrap up in Week 3 with the Battle for the Palouse. This game is a replacement game for the canceled 4 game series made with San Jose State. Who pulled out because of Idaho’s move to the FCS.

Current Grade: C+

Idaho did the best with what they had on short notice. Getting Washington State to pay $550,000 to drive eight miles is an A+. However not getting out of a temple game from 2013 is a C-. Then the Western Oregon game is a D. The conference schedule paired with the Washington State game, the Vandals will leave the Palouse once in eight weeks. During the season Idaho only travels to Philadelphia, Davis California, Pullman Washington, Cheney Washington, Bozeman Montana, Pocatello Idaho. That’s likely only 2 flights. Far removed from the Sun Belt days.

How To Fix it:

Too little too late. But the division 2 game against Western Oregon is a drag to see. At least it only costs Idaho $80,000. Meaning the out of conference schedule will net Idaho $470,000. That helps the budget.

2021 Schedule

In 2021 Idaho opens at home vs Canadian side Simon Fraser. Back-to-back years with week 1 division 2 or lower team to start the season.Then pack their bags for week 2 body bag game against Big Ten program Indiana (will see them again). Closing out the non-conference schedule with another power five game in Corvallis against Oregon State.

Current Grade: C

Any division 2 or lower game from this year forward is to be met with a grade of an F. Idaho needs division 1 wins to qualify for the playoffs. In a conference as tough as the Big Sky. Indiana is an interesting power five game. It isn’t local, but it isn’t bad. Indiana isn’t exactly a world beater, this could be winnable power five program for Idaho. The Hoosers did go 9-0 against the FCS last decade. Indiana is paying Idaho 1.2 Million to go to Bloomington with a outside chance to win. That’s an A- grade for scheduling. To close out the out of conference schedule, Idaho gets to play the Beavers. Arguably, the worst Pac 12 program in the previous decade. A winnable, local power five game, that will pat the coffers with an additional $675,0000. This will get an A+.

Unlike 2020, the Big Sky did Idaho no favors in conference. Idaho will have a bye week in week 4. The Vandals will then have four weeks before they are back in the friendly confines of the Kibbie Dome. Followed by more road games. When week 9 rolls around it will only be the third home game of the year and only second vs division 1 competition.

The budget will be helped by netting 1.875 million before paying Simon Fraser $80,000.

How To Fix It:

Schedule-2021Nothing needs to be done with Oregon State & Indiana. The payouts and winablility of these games are perfect. Even if the Indiana game is an odd match-up. The real trick here is copying what the Vandals pulled off in 2019, with scheduling Eastern Washington out of conference. Due to the Big Sky having protected rivals every three years Idaho will not play Idaho State in the “Battle Of The Domes”. Tubs at The Club has been very vocal on this Issue that Idaho & Idaho State needs to become a rivalry game.

Putting this game week 1 would be a good move. Idaho can do better. The FCS has a weekend all to itself called “Week 0”. The highlight that weekend is the Guardian FCS Kickoff game. Instead of Austin Peay vs Central Arkansas (2020) or Samford v Youngstown State (2019). What if the game featured two In-state rivals? In 2020 the game is to be played in Pocatello & in 2022 it is to be played in Moscow. Creating a conundrum for a 2021 match-up.

Two solutions

First is the winner of the overall battle of the domes in 2020 gets to host the game and repeat this every three years when game is off the schedule. Split the revenue 50/50 after reimbursing travel to road team and operating cost of the host team.

The other options is a bit more controversial. Play it in Boise. Its 235 Miles from Pocatello & 295 Miles from Moscow. Boise is both schools largest alumni base. There is bound to be the “No way we are stepping on that blue field to give Boise State the satisfaction” agruement. I have previously mentioned this will be almost an insult to them if both Schools can sell out Bronco Stadium. Something they have seldom done recently. A nuetral stadium is on the way if the City of Boise can ever get out of their own way in building a beautiful new stadium. This is only going to be an issue every three years.

Get this game on ESPN for Week 0 and showcase The State, The Conference & The FCS level of football.

2022 Schedule

Kicking the Season off with a rivalry game in Pullman. For more money than they paid us in 2020. Then the Vandals return to Bloomington Indiana for the second time in as many years. This time collecting 1.3 Million Dollars. Then Idaho plays its first lower tier FCS program in the newly released schedules, Drake. In 2022 Idaho will play all Division 1 opponents for the first time since 2017.

It is a well spaced out schedule for home games, road games and a mid-season bye week.

Current Grade: B+

Schedule-20222022 currently is the year Idaho gets paid more, to do the same. A+

Anytime Idaho can get Washington State on the schedule every couple of years it is a positive. This is the type of Power five game Idaho should be scheduling. Ideally in a decade Idaho will play Washington State 3-4 times. The Likes of a Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, Colorado, Utah each once. Then a bigger game like Texas A&M, Penn State, LSU or Florida State once just to have the experience.

Indiana is paying Idaho $100,000 more to come play them again in 2022 then they did in 2021. Most would assume this game to be favorable in 2022. More so with a previous appearance in Bloomington just 12 months prior. Grade this game an A.

The Big Skys whacky scheduling means no Montana State this season. That earns a D. Not the Athletic Departments fault, but it is what it is.

How To Fix It:

Drake is what drags this schedule down to a B+. Idaho should be scheduling low tier FCS teams to help with playoff qualification. Problem with the Drake game, Idaho is paying Drake $250,000 to come play in the Kibbie Dome. Taking a large bite out of the Washington State & Indiana earnings. Idaho should try and schedule these types of games as home & homes. Keeping the profit made from bodybag games.

The other change. Find a way to make the games marketable. The fanbase will be as fired up for the Drake game as they were for Western New Mexico State in 2018. Joining the Big Sky-Missouri Valley Challenge would be fun for the fanbase. Might even help with some of the steadfast FBSers. What better school to participate against in Idahos first go at the challenge than the Bobby Petrino led Missouri State Bears? Idaho is in need of a home game to complete the schedule. Putting the first meeting in the Kibbie Dome. The place where Bobby Petrino spent three seasons as QB coach and Offensive Coordinator from 89-91. Before Paul Petrino came to coach WR,QB & RBs from 92-94. Later taking the role as Head Ball Coach in 2013. They have never coached against each other and this would put people in the seats & eyes on the TV.

If Missouri State is not open to the idea. Montana State has week 3 open.

2023 Schedule

Schedule-2023The first year where the Vandals have a true opening where they can pick anyone. As the schedule stands now, the Vandals have no opponents for week 1 or week 3.  Expect a team to be named shortly. Then the Vandals play in Reno Nevada against a former Big Sky and WAC foe in University of Nevada-Reno. Then in week 8 Idaho will face Dixie State in St.George Utah. Who will be a full fledge FCS member, counting as a division 1 game.

Current Grade: A-

Overall a great schedule. Play a former conference rival for the 30th time in the Nevada Wolfpack. In a very fun place for fans to travel to. A+.

You play what should be a lower tier local FCS squad in Dixie State in Moscow. The start of a 3 games series with the Trailblazers. The Big Sky helps out by giving equal spacing between home and away games. It all comes down to Idaho not messing it up by scheduling a bad opponent in week 3 causing a week 1 bye week.

How To Fix It:

Change nothing in the actual schedule except attempt to schedule Dixie State week 3 opening up a later season bye week. Then per my 2022 schedule suggestions return the favor on the home & home with Missouri State in week 1 (currently open)

Bobby Petrino left Western Kentucky after 1 year and the Atlanta Falcons after just 13 games in the middle of the season. The odds he is still coaching at Missouri State in three seasons are slim.

Even Paul Petrino is up in the air at the moment to be at Idaho in 2022. His contract is through 2023. However, is on the hot seat. The 2022 season is the first real strong possibile season he could be fired. If he doesn’t start winning. 2022 is when the amount he would be owed would be reasonable.

Leaving the chance that neither Petrino is at their current job for even the 2022 game. Let alone the 2023 game. Even without one or both of the Petrinos. Missouri State is the type of team Idaho needs to start scheduling if they want to return to being a top flight Big Sky team and perennial playoff contender.

2024, 2025 & Beyond

The Big Sky hasn’t released conference schedules for these years yet. The Vandals do know in 2024 they travel to Dixie State and Oregon. Then host Dixie State and then “Travel” To the Battle of the Palouse. Everything this far out is subject to change.

In Review

Understand the unique position Idaho is in. The Vandals schedule problems are caused by the 2013 independent season. Then compounded upon with move from FBS to FCS.

The suggestions made were realistic changes. Not fantasy changes impossible for Terry Gawlik (Idaho Athletic Director) to deliver. The current scheduling issues are not her decisions. These games were scheduled before she had taken office. The only two scheduling announcements while Gawlik has be the Athletic Director (2022 Drake 2023 Nevada & Dixie State Series). Both announcements were ideal additions to the schedule. The ultimate goal for 2023 is a balanced athletics budget. Allowing future scheduling to be more open, minimize travel, but maximize payouts. The Ideal realistic schedule 2024 and on is Pac 12 School, winnable Mountain West school & home and home with a lower tier FCS program.

Big Sky Podcast Network Big Sky Conference Football Power Rankings: Week 12

Somehow, we have just two more weeks left in the conference season. We know Weber State, Sacramento State, and Montana will play on. Montana State might need another win, and UC Davis can still dream if they win out. The rest of the league is playing for pride, next season’s narrative, and if a few athletic departments are less broke than average, a few coaches might feel their seats growing a bit warm.

 

Playing for Byes

 

1. Weber State
Conference:
6-0
Overall: 8-2
Last Week: Win vs. North Dakota (30-27)
This Week: at Montana
Key Stat: Weber State is 2-0 versus current top-10 teams (Northern Iowa and Sacramento State).
Another Key Stat (conference only): In six conference games, the Wildcats have allowed just three rushing touchdowns.

2. Sacramento State
Conference:
5-1
Overall: 7-3
Last Week: at Win at Northern Arizona (38-34)
This Week: at Idaho
Key Stat (conference only): Defensive lineman George Obinna leads the Big Sky in sacks (9.0) and tackles for loss (11.0).

3. Montana
Conference:
5-1
Overall: 8-2
Last Week: vs. Idaho
This Week: vs. Weber State
Key Stat (conference only): Montana allows both the second fewest yards per carry (3.2ypa), and the second fewest rushing yards per game (112.2ypg).
Another Key Stat (conference only): Running back Marcus Knight has more rushing touchdowns himself (12 TDs) than seven Big Sky teams (Cal Poly, UD Davis, Idaho, Idaho State, NAU, SUU, and UNC).

In a Different World, We Could All Be Each Other


4. Montana State
Conference:
4-2
Overall: 7-3
Last Week: Win at Northern Colorado (45-14)
This Week: at UC Davis
Key Stat (conference only): Montana State leads the Big Sky in rushing offense (256.7ypg), but due to injuries, no Bobcats are among the conference’s top ten leaders in rushing yards.
Another Key Stat (conference only): The Bobcats have three players (Troy Anderson, Amandre Williams, and Derek Marks) among the league’s top ten in tackles for loss.

5. Eastern Washington
Conference:
4-2
Overall: 5-5
Last Week: Win at Idaho State (48-5)
This Week: vs. Cal Poly
Key Stat (conference only): Quarterback Eric Barriere’s 370.2 total yards per game leads the conference by an average of 51 yards per game (Case Cookus: 319.2ypg).

6. UC Davis
Conference:
3-3
Overall: 5-5
Last Week: Win at Portland State (45-28)
This Week: vs. Montana State
Key Stat (conference only): Since throwing three interceptions in a loss at North Dakota, quarterback Jake Maier has thrown 13 touchdowns and two interceptions, while completing 66 percent of his passes.
Another Key Stat (conference only): After opening Big Sky play with 102 combined rushing yards in losses to Montana and North Dakota, running back Ulonzo Gilliam has averaged 150 rushing yards per game.

 

The Best of the Worst

 

7. Portland State
Conference:
3-4
Overall: 5-6
Last Week: Loss vs. UC Davis (45-28)
This Week: Bye
Key Stat (conference only): Portland State’s three Big Sky wins have come against teams (Idaho, Southern Utah, and Northern Colorado) with a combined conference record of 5-14.

8. Northern Arizona
Conference:
2-4
Overall: 4-6
Last Week: Loss vs. Sacramento State (38-34)
This Week: at Southern Utah
Key Stat (conference only): Northern Arizona has held opponents to fewer than 450 total yards just once (Montana State: 443), while allowing an average of 540.8 yards per game.

9. Idaho
Conference:
2-4
Overall: 4-6
Last Week:
Loss at Montana (42-17)
This Week: vs. Sacramento State
Key Stat (conference only): In five Big Sky starts, quarterback Mason Petrino has accounted for seven touchdowns (six passing, one rushing) and 12 turnovers (seven interceptions, five lost fumbles).
Another Key Stat (conference only): The Vandals have both the third worst scoring offense (23.7 points per game) and the third worst total offense (393 yards per game).

 

Mercifully, It’s Just Two Weeks

 

10. Cal Poly
Conference:
1-5
Overall: 2-7
Last Week: Bye
This Week: vs. Eastern Washington
Key Stat (conference only): Cal Poly has both the Big Sky’s worst scoring offense (20.8 points per game) and worst total offense (323.8 yards).

11. Northern Colorado
Conference:
2-4
Overall: 2-8
Last Week: Loss vs. Montana State (45-14)
This Week: at North Dakota
Key Stat (conference only): Northern Colorado has the league’s worst scoring margin (-13.5 points per game).

12. Southern Utah
Conference:
1-5
Overall: 2-8
Last Week: Bye
This Week: vs. Northern Arizona
Key Stat: Southern Utah’s two FCS wins have come against teams (Stephen F. Austin and Idaho State) with a combined FCS record of 4-13.

13. Idaho State
Conference:
2-5
Overall: 3-7
Last Week: Loss vs. Eastern Washington (48-5)
This Week: at BYU (FBS)
Key Stat (conference only): During Idaho State’s active four-game losing streak, opposing quarterbacks have thrown 13 touchdowns and two interceptions, while Bengal quarterbacks have thrown five touchdowns and nine interceptions.