Rough start for the Big Sky Conference

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There was a lot of speculation as to why the Big Sky Conference had so many teams ranked in the polls but were sitting sixth among 13 FCS leagues.

With a week left in the regular campaign you remember the talk that if the Cats beat the Griz there probably had to be five league teams in the field of 24.

Well we know that didn't happen and with five losses and four straight the Cats had no chance to be included in the post season but the circuit still with four teams had more entities advancing to post season play than any other league.

Now part of that of course was how hot Southern Utah got at the end of the year and the Thunderbirds deservedly so along with Northern Arizona got first round bids with the Lumberjacks even getting a home game probably just on the basis that they defeated the Grizzlies who had advanced to the poll's Number four position.

But league representation quickly was cut in half with both Southern Utah and NAU going down in flames leaving just the two seeded teams, league champ Eastern Washington and Montana to carry the torch.

Unfortunately head coach Jerome Souers was not on the sidelines after being hospitalized and replaced by former Grizzly Andy Thompson, the team's defensive coordinator, which was particularly unfortunate since the Jacks had not been to the post season since 2003 and Jerome certainly was deserving of his spot pacing the sidelines.

Running back Zach Bauman, who again eclipsed the century mark, finished his career third on the league's career rushing list but the Lumberjacks only converted one of 13 third down opportunities in falling 26-7.

The Thunderbirds ran into a buzz saw in Texas which should surprise no one since Sam Houston State has owned the Big Sky winning the last half dozen playoff games over the league's opponents.

Southern Utah jumped to a 10-point lead only to see the Bearkats run off 30 straight to win easily going away 51-20.

This weekend will be no aberration for Montana since the Grizzlies have had their back against the wall since falling to Eastern Washington. It should be double digit temps by kickoff.

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