First off, happy Veteran's Day to those who are serving or have served in the armed forces. Your sacrifices are very much appreciated. Now as we head into the final week (aptly named rivalry week) things are beginning to get interesting in the Big Sky. For weeks now, I have been touting the new blood that had risen to the top of the conference. Well, the old guard (EWU, Montana, Montana State) have said don't forget about us. Coupled with some surprising outcomes last week and there are quite a few teams who think they can crash the playoff party with a win. Here are this week's power rankings (last week in parenthesis). All are my opinion as usual. Hang on, its going to get interesting.
1. Eastern Washington (3)---Last week beat UC Davis at home 59-20, this week at Portland State---At the beginning of the year the Eagles were thought to be the class of the conference yet an early loss to Weber State dampened those thoughts. A good win last week revived them. They can't look past this game, however.
2. Weber State (4)---Last week won at Southern Utah 31-18, this week at Idaho State---The Wildcats did just what they needed to do in putting down a lessor opponent in a conference game on the road. They have a big game this weekend back on the road against a dangerous conference rival.
3. UC Davis (1)---Last week lost at Eastern Washington 59-20, this week Sacramento State at home---The Aggies were cruising along until they ran into a buzzsaw at Eastern Washington last week. The loss should not hurt them but a loss this weekend to their rivals just might.
4. Idaho State (2)---Last week lost at Cal Poly 37-14, this week Weber State at home---Looking good and flying high, the Bengals train came crashing to a halt last week in a stunning loss. Now a sure playoff berth may be in jeopardy, and they may just have to get a win this weekend.
5. Montana State (5)---Last week beat Northern Colorado at home 35-7, this week at Montana---The Bobcats were careful not to be looking ahead in their home game last weekend. They head out on the road in their annual Brawl. A win and they may make the playoffs.
6. Montana (8)---Last week won at Idaho 46-27, this week Montana State at home---Those of us (myself included) who counted out the Grizzlies just a couple weeks ago may have been mistaken. A win in the Brawl may be just enough to get the Grizzlies in and they are at home.
7. Cal Poly (9)---Last week beat Idaho State at home 37-14, this week Southern Utah at home---The Mustangs relished their role as spoiler as they took down one of the heavies in the conference race last week. They can capitalize on it with another win to end the season.
8. Portland State (7)---Last week lost at North Dakota 17-10, this week Eastern Washington at home---At the beginning of the season it was hard to see the Vikings winning any conference games this year. They felt like they let one slip away and now they have the #1 team coming.
9. Idaho (6)---Last week lost to Montana at home 46-27, this week at Florida (FBS SEC)---The Vandals ended their season last week on the wrong end of a surprising rout by Montana. No playoffs in sight, they do have a non-conference tilt with the mighty Florida team.
10. Northern Colorado (10)---Last week lost at Montana State 35-7, this week bye---The Bears came up short last weekend at Montana State, ending their season.
11. Northern Arizona (11)---Last week's game with Sacramento State was postponed due to wildfires, this week North Dakota at home---The postponed game last week added to all the "what ifs" the Lumberjacks experienced this season. They get one more shot at a conference win, but who will play?
12. Southern Utah (12)---Last week lost to Weber State at home 31-18, this week at Cal Poly---The Thunderbirds put up a game effort last week at home against their Beehive rival. They have another shot at a win this weekend, but they head out on the road to try to get it.
13. Sacramento State (13)---Last week's game was postponed with Northern Arizona, this week at UC Davis---In effect, the Hornets will have two weeks to prepare for their rival after last week's game was called off. Not the season they wanted but a chance to be all good with a win this weekend.
RECAP: 1-2 surging, 3-4 fading a bit, 5-9 holding, 10-13 falling back.
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