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Sports Illustrated Big Sky Conference Preview

I’ll start this by saying I think the cats are good. Very good even.


** poster is gargling with turpentine. **

But I think overall they’re still getting far, far too much credit nationally for a playoff run a couple of years ago which was without question the easiest path to a title game in fcs history. And as Mom so eloquently points out, they were cat shit against good teams last year.

Their schedule is a joke in 2024, so I fully expect them to contend. Are they as good as Montana? No.
 
All I know is Sports Illustrated and it's writing have fallen off quite a bit in the last decade. I honestly don't know anyone personally that subscribes to this magazine. I wouldn't be surprised if the writer didn't even watch any FCS games and just googled info and wrote these articles.
 
Other than an easy schedule, I don't understand why people think the Cats are going to be so good this year. Last year, they only beat TWO teams with winning records. Their six other wins were all against teams with losing records. They LOST to all four of the playoff teams they faced.

By contrast, the Griz won NINE games against teams with winning records, while they had four wins against teams with losing records. They also beat 4 of the playoff teams they faced, with the only loss being to SDSU in the natty. Yes, there was that really bad loss to NAU, but in looking at the entire year, that was an anomaly.

Now, no one knows exactly what next year holds for either team, but everyone seems to be assuming that the Griz will be maybe about the same or take a step back, while the Cats are somehow supposed to be a lot better? Based on what exactly? They lost some very good OL players to the portal and their backup QB to graduation. While they have brought in a few people through the portal, I don't think they brought in any QBs. Their QB1 is still a guy who has yet to make it through a season without being injured.

They have two new coordinators who everyone seems to think will be better than Willie Mack (Where's the) Bar-za and House-about-another-drink but have not yet proven themselves.

On the flip side, the Griz have filled holes through the portal seemingly very well. The big question mark is QB but last year's team proved that they don't need an all-world QB to win games.

While the cats do have an easy schedule this year, I still see several games they could lose.

Maybe I'm wrong. If so, someone please convince me about why the Cats are suddenly going to be great this year.
Right, I agree with everything you are saying, but you can go back to the "narrative" before last season--the cats were loaded and had no real losses, got better over the offseason, and were one of the best teams in the country coming off a stellar season and a fantastic two-year run--and all of that didn't matter because their schedule was really hard, like ours was in 2022. There's no guarantee we'll even be better than they will. I still am very worried about how we'll replace McDowell's running threat ability that opened up the offense.

Their schedule is a lot easier this season, and their offense probably won't skip a beat as long as Tommy is healthy. Their hardest game all year is against us, and it's at home where we have sucked. They could end up being worse than last year and still win the Big Sky. Idaho will be worse, Sac will be worse, and UC Davis has a new coach, so who knows. If we play like shit again and lose in bozeman, then they'd need to lose to a probably inferior team at some point (who knows, maybe they will) in order to not have a great chance of winning the conference.

I am not saying they will win the Big Sky and be really good, but I don't see any reason why they can't be just as good or better this season. I truly hope they suck shit, but I don't think we're going to be that lucky.
 
Other than an easy schedule, I don't understand why people think the Cats are going to be so good this year. Last year, they only beat TWO teams with winning records. Their six other wins were all against teams with losing records. They LOST to all four of the playoff teams they faced.

By contrast, the Griz won NINE games against teams with winning records, while they had four wins against teams with losing records. They also beat 4 of the playoff teams they faced, with the only loss being to SDSU in the natty. Yes, there was that really bad loss to NAU, but in looking at the entire year, that was an anomaly.

Now, no one knows exactly what next year holds for either team, but everyone seems to be assuming that the Griz will be maybe about the same or take a step back, while the Cats are somehow supposed to be a lot better? Based on what exactly? They lost some very good OL players to the portal and their backup QB to graduation. While they have brought in a few people through the portal, I don't think they brought in any QBs. Their QB1 is still a guy who has yet to make it through a season without being injured.

They have two new coordinators who everyone seems to think will be better than Willie Mack (Where's the) Bar-za and House-about-another-drink but have not yet proven themselves.

On the flip side, the Griz have filled holes through the portal seemingly very well. The big question mark is QB but last year's team proved that they don't need an all-world QB to win games.

While the cats do have an easy schedule this year, I still see several games they could lose.

Maybe I'm wrong. If so, someone please convince me about why the Cats are suddenly going to be great this year.
It all depends on whether their new coordinators can stay sober. Thats the linchpin.
 
Right, I agree with everything you are saying, but you can go back to the "narrative" before last season--the cats were loaded and had no real losses, got better over the offseason, and were one of the best teams in the country coming off a stellar season and a fantastic two-year run--and all of that didn't matter because their schedule was really hard, like ours was in 2022. There's no guarantee we'll even be better than they will. I still am very worried about how we'll replace McDowell's running threat ability that opened up the offense.

Their schedule is a lot easier this season, and their offense probably won't skip a beat as long as Tommy is healthy. Their hardest game all year is against us, and it's at home where we have sucked. They could end up being worse than last year and still win the Big Sky. Idaho will be worse, Sac will be worse, and UC Davis has a new coach, so who knows. If we play like shit again and lose in bozeman, then they'd need to lose to a probably inferior team at some point (who knows, maybe they will) in order to not have a great chance of winning the conference.

I am not saying they will win the Big Sky and be really good, but I don't see any reason why they can't be just as good or better this season. I truly hope they suck shit, but I don't think we're going to be that lucky.
Ya, like 3 conferences losses. Good like that.
 
Interesting that they provide their predicted order of finish in the Big Sky for 2024 but give no rationale behind it. They have the Cats finishing first with the Griz second which doesn't make a lot of sense to me considering how their respective seasons went last year combined with graduation and other losses, etc.
Puds finishing first. THAT is funny.
 
I mean, there was a LOT more in there. The prediction was just the very end. I don't follow all the transfers to all the other BSC teams, so I really liked that roundup and the talk about some of the best returning players in the Big Sky.
I follow almost all of the transfer with the top 25 teams and all of the BSC teams. The puds have one good transfer and lost more impact players than UM. UM has the most transfers by far. On3 is pretty accurate with the transfers even though their class rankings suck. They ranked the puds higher based on incoming freshmen, which is ridiculous since UM has just as many, but hey, you get an NDSU coach and go to the Chipper once where you get throttled and suddenly, you're the third powerhouse program in the FCS.
 
The puds have one good transfer and lost more impact players than UM. UM has the most transfers by far. On3 is pretty accurate with the transfers even though their class rankings suck.

Missouri State picked up a couple of decent 3*'s but lost 5 3*'s

UND lost a whole bunch of players, 6-3*'s.

There isn't anything on Morehead State, but they are absolute garbage, I daho State is an elite program compared to them.

Western Carolina lost four 3* starters to Pitt (20, Temple and UNM.

EWoo picked up a decent Edge from UDub, but lost 2 3* starters in their D backfield.

Weebs lost four starters and picked up an IOL from Cornell.

NAU lost five 3*'s but none were starters.

UNC Lost 6 3*'s not sure if any were starters though.

Cal Poly lost Huard and another. Big hit with Huard though.

Davis had a huge loss with their tight end. 4* in High school, 3* starter.

Portland State lost three #*'s two were starters.

We all know who the puds lost.

I find it hard to believe the "experts" pick the puds ahead of UM, but when you get an NDSU waterboy for a HC and go to the Chipper once where you get absolutely Wiley Coyote throttled suddenly, you're the third powerhouse program in the FCS.
 
Right, I agree with everything you are saying, but you can go back to the "narrative" before last season--the cats were loaded and had no real losses, got better over the offseason, and were one of the best teams in the country coming off a stellar season and a fantastic two-year run--and all of that didn't matter because their schedule was really hard, like ours was in 2022. There's no guarantee we'll even be better than they will. I still am very worried about how we'll replace McDowell's running threat ability that opened up the offense.

Their schedule is a lot easier this season, and their offense probably won't skip a beat as long as Tommy is healthy. Their hardest game all year is against us, and it's at home where we have sucked. They could end up being worse than last year and still win the Big Sky. Idaho will be worse, Sac will be worse, and UC Davis has a new coach, so who knows. If we play like shit again and lose in bozeman, then they'd need to lose to a probably inferior team at some point (who knows, maybe they will) in order to not have a great chance of winning the conference.

I am not saying they will win the Big Sky and be really good, but I don't see any reason why they can't be just as good or better this season. I truly hope they suck shit, but I don't think we're going to be that lucky.
As far as UC Davis is concerned, I don’t think it’s too much of a change for the aggies, and I believe they have two of their best weapons back in Hastings and Larrison as well as some all conference playmakers on defense. There’s a reason they picked our game with them as one of the national games. Last year could have been entirely different for them had Lan stayed healthy and ours could have been drastically different as well. I hope it’s a cold damn night game because I expect that to be a heavy hitting affair come November.
 
Other than an easy schedule, I don't understand why people think the Cats are going to be so good this year. Last year, they only beat TWO teams with winning records. Their six other wins were all against teams with losing records. They LOST to all four of the playoff teams they faced.

By contrast, the Griz won NINE games against teams with winning records, while they had four wins against teams with losing records. They also beat 4 of the playoff teams they faced, with the only loss being to SDSU in the natty. Yes, there was that really bad loss to NAU, but in looking at the entire year, that was an anomaly.

Now, no one knows exactly what next year holds for either team, but everyone seems to be assuming that the Griz will be maybe about the same or take a step back, while the Cats are somehow supposed to be a lot better? Based on what exactly? They lost some very good OL players to the portal and their backup QB to graduation. While they have brought in a few people through the portal, I don't think they brought in any QBs. Their QB1 is still a guy who has yet to make it through a season without being injured.

They have two new coordinators who everyone seems to think will be better than Willie Mack (Where's the) Bar-za and House-about-another-drink but have not yet proven themselves.

On the flip side, the Griz have filled holes through the portal seemingly very well. The big question mark is QB but last year's team proved that they don't need an all-world QB to win games.

While the cats do have an easy schedule this year, I still see several games they could lose.

Maybe I'm wrong. If so, someone please convince me about why the Cats are suddenly going to be great this year.
The cats are going to be good because they hardly lost anyone. Anyone that did leave via portal was replaced by FBS talent or great FCS players. And Bobby Daly did DC a game last year so it’s not like we haven’t seen him in that position. If the cats lose any game besides New Mexico and UM it would be shocking. Look at last years schedule compared to this year, massive difference. Also the gris either don’t win or barely win those playoff games if it wasn’t for the home field advantage… and Bergen.
 
The GRIZ EARNED home field advantage (by absolutely destroying their "rival"). Last time I checked, special teams scores counted just as much as offensive or defensive scores. BH focuses on special teams because they MATTER. They're a major part of winning games (or losing games if you're the bubs, of course).
 
The GRIZ EARNED home field advantage (by absolutely destroying their "rival"). Last time I checked, special teams scores counted just as much as offensive or defensive scores. BH focuses on special teams because they MATTER. They're a major part of winning games (or losing games if you're the bubs, of course).
Earned… sorta but also when your AD is the head of the committee you will never get screwed. Just saying that cats’ first round game was harder than 2 of the gris’ games… weird how that works. Cats also beat their rival the year before and had to play Weber first game. Anyways yes special teams is important but I hate to tell you that NO ONE will kick to Bergen this year and his return talent will start to go away. Just saying the gris are a whole other team when they are away, if they don’t get s good seed this year then they won’t stand a chance.
 
Earned… sorta but also when your AD is the head of the committee you will never get screwed. Just saying that cats’ first round game was harder than 2 of the gris’ games… weird how that works. Cats also beat their rival the year before and had to play Weber first game. Anyways yes special teams is important but I hate to tell you that NO ONE will kick to Bergen this year and his return talent will start to go away. Just saying the gris are a whole other team when they are away, if they don’t get s good seed this year then they won’t stand a chance.
You don't know much about how all of this works, do you?
 
The cats are going to be good because they hardly lost anyone. Anyone that did leave via portal was replaced by FBS talent or great FCS players. And Bobby Daly did DC a game last year so it’s not like we haven’t seen him in that position. If the cats lose any game besides New Mexico and UM it would be shocking. Look at last years schedule compared to this year, massive difference. Also the gris either don’t win or barely win those playoff games if it wasn’t for the home field advantage… and Bergen.
So Griz don't win without best player? Isn't that pretty much every team is every team sport? And guess what he is back. Punt or kick to him or kick it out of bounds. Pick your poison. Home field was earned. Cats had home field vs NDSU and lost. Cats could have had home field but lost 37-7 to Griz. I think the Cats are going to be tough this year and it will all come down to that game in Bozeman but don't weaken your argument with the Griz didn't earn it last year.
 
The cats are going to be good because they hardly lost anyone. Anyone that did leave via portal was replaced by FBS talent or great FCS players. And Bobby Daly did DC a game last year so it’s not like we haven’t seen him in that position. If the cats lose any game besides New Mexico and UM it would be shocking. Look at last years schedule compared to this year, massive difference. Also the gris either don’t win or barely win those playoff games if it wasn’t for the home field advantage… and Bergen.
MSdUi’s backups are better than the starters 😂
 
So Griz don't win without best player? Isn't that pretty much every team is every team sport? And guess what he is back. Punt or kick to him or kick it out of bounds. Pick your poison. Home field was earned. Cats had home field vs NDSU and lost. Cats could have had home field but lost 37-7 to Griz. I think the Cats are going to be tough this year and it will all come down to that game in Bozeman but don't weaken your argument with the Griz didn't earn it last year.
They earned it in the brawl but not in their early season mistakes.
 
The cats are going to be good because they hardly lost anyone. Anyone that did leave via portal was replaced by FBS talent or great FCS players. And Bobby Daly did DC a game last year so it’s not like we haven’t seen him in that position. If the cats lose any game besides New Mexico and UM it would be shocking. Look at last years schedule compared to this year, massive difference. Also the gris either don’t win or barely win those playoff games if it wasn’t for the home field advantage… and Bergen.
How was last year's schedule so hard? You won against losing teams last year and lost to all the good teams you played. I just can't understand why certain people, you included, cannot understand this concept.

You got to play NDSU at home just like the Griz did. Don't tell me that your stadium isn't a massive home field advantage for y'all just like WaGriz. Homefield advantage exists for every team, and is earned based on the seeding.

MSU graduated seniors as well, losing Askelson, Chambers, Pickering, Price and Snell.

Your pedantic arguments are nothing if not entertaining.
 
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