Griz Picked to Finish Third in 2015 BSC Preseason Poll

By ERIC TABER for GoGriz.com

The University of Montana Grizzlies have been picked to finish third in 2014 Big Sky Conference preseason polls by both the media and the league coaches the conference announced today at the conference’s annual football kickoff event.

The Grizzlies, who finished 9-5 in 2014 (6-2 BSC), return 23 starters and 34 lettermen to Coach Bob Stitt’s first UM team from the squad that took the Griz to its 22nd playoff appearance.

Montana earned 121 points in the coaches’ poll and one first place vote, while the Griz pulled five first place votes and 446 points in the media poll to tie with Idaho State for a share of third place.

The Big Sky coaches picked the Montana State Bobcats to win the league in 2015, edging out 2014 conference champions Eastern Washington by a single vote with 134. Both schools received 6 first place votes.

The media poll favors Eastern Washington to repeat as conference champions with 553 points and 17 first place votes.

“I’m a bigger fan of the post season rank2015-07-21_0911ings than the preseason,” said first year UM head coach Bob Stitt. “I think these are fun for the media and the fans to look at, but very few times in my career have we ever ended up the way people votedus.”

“I think Montana State and Eastern Washington definitely deserve to be up there, they had great seasons and return great teams, Stitt added. “I’m just looking forward to getting on the field against somebody else and seeing how we stack up. Spring ball is a hard gage to really tell how you’re going to do in the league.”

Cal Poly received 111 points in the coaches’ to come in fourth behind UM, followed by Northern Arizona (95) and Idaho State (90). The Bengals leapfrogged both teams in the media poll to sit tied with Montana in third place, while Cal Poly and NAU round out the top five.

Montana has been the preseason pick 11 times in the past 16 years.

The Griz open their 2015 campaign on August 29 against North Dakota State on ESPN in the annual “FCS Kickoff” game.

 

2015 Big Sky Conference Preseason Polls

Coaches’

Montana State (6)…………..134

Eastern Washington (6)….133

Montana (1)…………………121

Cal Poly………………………….111

Northern Arizona……………..95

Idaho State………………………90

Sacramento State……………..66

Southern Utah………………….64

Portland State………………….51

North Dakota…………………..51

Weber State…………………….43

UC Davis…………………………33

Northern Colorado………….22

 

Media

Eastern Washington (17)…553

Montana State (17)………….541

Montana (5)………………….446

Idaho State (5)………………..446

Cal Poly (1)…………………….433

Northern Arizona (1)………399

Sacramento State……………278

Southern Utah………………..255

North Dakota…………………226

Weber State…………………..160

UC Davis……………………….145

Portland State……………….133

Northern Colorado………..127