Griz Picked to Finish Second in Both Preseason Polls

The University of Montana Grizzlies have been picked to finish second in the 2014 Big Sky Conference preseason polls by both the league coaches and media, the conference announced today (Tuesday, July 15) from the Big Sky’s annual football kickoff event currently in progress here.

The Grizzlies, who were 10-3 overall and 6-2 (tied, third) in the league a year ago, return 14 starters this season.

Griz Football FlagMontana earned 130 points in the coaches poll and received 416 total point from the media. The Grizzlies received one first place vote in each of the polls.  Defending league champion Eastern Washington was picked to finish first in both polls.

“It seems like for so many years Montana was picked at the top of the conference in the preseason polls,” said UM head coach Mick Delaney. “That shows the Big Sky coaches’ respect for the Grizzly program, and for the tradition and history that it has. That’s an honor to our players and what they have done over a long period of time, from probably 1986 up to the present time.

“Montana has been involved at that championship race almost every single year, probably with the exception maybe of a couple of years,” Delaney said. “Again, we’d walk out the door right now and say ‘that’s good and we’ll take that,’ but we also like to walk out the door and finish first. It’s a great tribute, and we are very honored that the coaches and media in our league think that much of us.”

Four other Big Sky teams were picked to finish in the same order in both polls behind the Eagles and the Grizzlies. Montana State was tabbed third in both polls, Cal Poly was picked to finish fourth in the polls, Northern Arizona was chosen to finish fifth, while Southern Utah was voted to end up in sixth.

Montana has been the No. 1 preseason pick 11 times in the last 15 seasons. Last season the Bobcats were predicted to place first, followed by EWU, and the Griz were tabbed third.

Coaches’ Poll

No.-School Points

1.-Eastern Washington (12) 144

2.-Montana (1) 130

3.-Montana State 111

4.-Cal Poly 108

5.-Northern Arizona 100

6.-Southern Utah 89

7.-Sacramento State 79

8.-Portland State 71

9.-UC Davis 66

10.-North Dakota 34

11.-Weber State 30

12.-Idaho State 28

13.-Northern Colorado 23

Media Poll

No.-School Points

1.-Eastern Washington (34) 464

2.-Montana (1) 416

3.-Montana State (1) 364

4.-Cal Poly 329

5.-Northern Arizona 328

6.-Southern Utah 299

7.-UC Davis 228

8.-Portland State 227

9.-Sacramento State 222

10.- Idaho State 124

11.- North Dakota 121

12.–Weber State 103

13.-Northern Colorado 61