Big Sky Power Rankings 8-26

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Big Sky Power Rankings 8-26

Postby JALMOND » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:50 pm

Another season in the Big Sky is set to start and just like most of them, there are questions surrounding every team in the conference. Depending on how soon those questions are answered will ultimately dictate the success for each school. Two (or possibly three) teams come in thinking they are the favorites but there are quite a few darkhorses lurking behind them eager to move to the top. Both EWU and Davis look tough, with their strong quarterbacks, and Weber's defense looks impressive. Cookus returns for NAU, but a new coaching staff and new targets to throw to makes this season interesting. Montana State and Idaho State are just a good quarterback away from being really good. The Montana faithful are hoping to return to glory this year, while Portland State and Idaho are both hoping to return to respectability. Cal Poly has a bunch of returnees on defense and Southern Utah also is hoping for a good year. And, Sacramento State and Northern Colorado could emerge from their own questions and come out decently. Here are the opening power rankings in the Big Sky. All are my opinion only. All are up for discussion. Good luck to all the teams.

1. Eastern Washington Eagles---This week, at Washington (FBS Pac-12)---Last year's injury to Gubrud opened the door for Barriere to come through. Now with Gubrid out, it is clearly his team. The Eagles are strong on both sides of the ball and even with a light schedule, should still be considered the best in the conference.

2. UC-Davis Aggies---This week, at California (FBS, Pac-12)---Last year, Maier showed to be an elite quarterback in the conference. Even with their number one target now playing on Sundays, the Aggies should stay in their new home atop the conference standings.

3. Weber State Wildcats---This week, at San Diego State (FBS, Mtn West)---Even with a strong receiver and a good quarterback coming back, the calling card for the Wildcats has been defense for a number of years. If they get a little more firepower from the offense, watch out.

4. Northern Arizona Lumberjacks---The week, Missouri State (Mo Valley) at home---The key here for the Lumberjacks has been for Cookus to stay healthy, something that has been difficult to do. Now with a new coach and some new receivers, they may have to rely on the defense early on.

5. Montana Grizzlies---This week, at South Dakota (Mo Valley)---Last year was a bit of a rebuild as far as the Grizzlies are concerned, and now there is some thought this is the year to return to dominance. Some good returnees on both sides of the ball may make the job a little easier.

6. Montana State Bobcats---This week at Texas Tech (FBS Big 12)---Many good returnees for the Bobcats this year, but some question marks at the quarterback position. Once they get those answered, another trip to the playoffs should not be out of the question.

7. Idaho State Bengals---This week, Western Colorado (DII) at home---The Bengals may have lost their strong signal-caller from last year, but they return pretty much everyone else. How quickly they can settle on a new quarterback will determine how fast they can rise up.

8. Portland State Vikings---This week, at Arkansas (FBS, SEC)---This is the year that coach Barnum has pointed to during his tenure as being "the" year. No excuses now, they have all come up in his program and now they must contribute. Many returnees along with a strong receiver makes this team interesting.

9. Idaho Vandals---This week, at Penn State (FBS, Big 10)---Last year, the Vandals got a taste of reality in their Big Sky return as they had some good FBS recruits, yet could not seem to get it together on the field. One year in, they hope to come together this year and make their mark.

10. Southern Utah Thunderbirds---This week, at UNLV (FBS, Mtn West)---The Thunderbirds enter this season with many questions after a bad year last year. Still, they seem to run hot and cold, following up a bad year with a good year the next. If they can get some concrete answers right away, watch them rise.

11. Cal Poly Mustangs---This week, San Diego (Pioneer) at home---The Mustangs need to find some players on offense and, while they have some good returns on defense, the defense last year was not great. If the defense can keep them close until the new offensive players gain confidence, they could move up.

12. Sacramento State Hornets---This week, Southern Oregon (NAIA) at home---New coach, new scheme, new players. How quickly they can all come together will tell how good this season will be for the Hornets. They could strike early and come out decent, or...

13. Northern Colorado Bears---This week, at San Jose State (FBS, Mtn West)---Not much is being expected or anticipated with the Bears this year. They did get an extra year for their quarterback and do have some good players back but many questions still surround this team.

RECAP: 1-3 out the gate, 4-7 keeping up, 8-9 holding on, 10-12 just off the pace, 13 behind.

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Re: Big Sky Power Rankings 8-26

Postby CPAlum » Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:47 am

Happy to see this thread up...Thanks Jalmond

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Re: Big Sky Power Rankings 8-26

Postby Wildcat Ryan » Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:16 am

Looks good Jalmond

Let the season begin
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Re: Big Sky Power Rankings 8-26

Postby css75 » Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:05 am

Looks good, nice job.


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Re: Big Sky Power Rankings 8-26

Postby dbackjon » Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:02 am

I would drop NAU behind the Montana schools for now.

Move Portland State up one.
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Re: Big Sky Power Rankings 8-26

Postby catbooster » Mon Aug 26, 2019 11:08 am

It must be football season - Jalmond posted his power rankings.

I'd swap MSU and NAU, but it's all just a wild guess at this stage.With all of the FBS games, it'll probably be a few weeks before we can start arguing much.

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Re: Big Sky Power Rankings 8-26

Postby SuperHornet » Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:33 pm

Swap Sac and the Manure Pile, and that would look good....
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Re: Big Sky Power Rankings 8-26

Postby SDHornet » Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:06 pm

Well done J. :clap:

I anticipate the Hornets relying on quite a bit of returners this season but there should be some new faces in the mix.

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Re: Big Sky Power Rankings 8-26

Postby kalm » Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:39 pm

dbackjon wrote:I would drop NAU behind the Montana schools for now.

Move Portland State up one.


That was my first inclination too but you can make some case for any team over-achieving and threatening a playoff or league championship shot out of nowhere. Ball has assembled a very experienced staff and the secondary is strong. A healthy Cookus and strong D might do some damage.
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Re: Big Sky Power Rankings 8-26

Postby dbackjon » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:54 am

kalm wrote:
dbackjon wrote:I would drop NAU behind the Montana schools for now.

Move Portland State up one.


That was my first inclination too but you can make some case for any team over-achieving and threatening a playoff or league championship shot out of nowhere. Ball has assembled a very experienced staff and the secondary is strong. A healthy Cookus and strong D might do some damage.



That is why I said for now - hard to predict how the staff will work out and if Cookus can stay healthy. More of a prove it situation.
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Re: Big Sky Power Rankings 8-26

Postby SACCAT » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:13 am

Other than your complete lack of any knowledge about the MSU Bobcats, and how amazing they will be this year, you did a good job... ;)

I would put MSU above both UM and NAU, as there are also MAJOR questions about both those teams (Can UM find a running game, and an O-line... NAU has all new staff, and issues at several positions). In all seriousness, I enjoy your take every year, and look forward to your weekly posts. Your posts mean that Football is BACK!!

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Re: Big Sky Power Rankings 8-26

Postby JALMOND » Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:51 pm

SACCAT wrote:Other than your complete lack of any knowledge about the MSU Bobcats, and how amazing they will be this year, you did a good job... ;)

I would put MSU above both UM and NAU, as there are also MAJOR questions about both those teams (Can UM find a running game, and an O-line... NAU has all new staff, and issues at several positions). In all seriousness, I enjoy your take every year, and look forward to your weekly posts. Your posts mean that Football is BACK!!


I was taken to task on the Cat/Griz issue about a month ago discussing these with a long-time Bobcat booster and supporter (my dad). Both teams are close going in to the first week and if Andersen would have come back at quarterback, it would have been really tough. I gave the edge (very slight edge) to the Griz based on Sneed's performance last season. This conference has shown that having a good, experienced quarterback is worth consideration. The Cats are pretty loaded that as soon as their quarterback gets some game experience, they are set.

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Re: Big Sky Power Rankings 8-26

Postby catbooster » Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:12 pm

Your Father is a very wise man, Jalmond. You should listen to him. :coffee:

:thumb:

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Re: Big Sky Power Rankings 8-26

Postby SDHornet » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:21 pm

catbooster wrote:Your Father is a very wise man, Jalmond. You should listen to him. :coffee:

:thumb:

Incorrect answer. The correct one was: "Jalmond, I AM your father."

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Re: Big Sky Power Rankings 8-26

Postby Thundernuts » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:45 pm

Looking forward to the new season. Lots of good games coming up. Thanks Jalmond for these posts, I look forward to them all season.

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Re: Big Sky Power Rankings 8-26

Postby catbooster » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:16 pm

SDHornet wrote:
catbooster wrote:Your Father is a very wise man, Jalmond. You should listen to him. :coffee:

:thumb:

Incorrect answer. The correct one was: "Jalmond, I AM your father."

Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

:doh: a missed opportunity

:lol: :rofl: :notworthy:


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