(Editor’s note: Big Sky Conference release)
OGDEN, Utah – Four Big Sky teams finish the 2018 campaign ranked in the FCS Top 25 polls, announced today by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and STATS FCS. In the Athlon Sports Power poll, the league earned four spots.
The Eastern Washington Eagles (12-3) ended their season at the NCAA Division I Championship game as runners-up. The Eagles are ranked No. 2 in both polls, as they won 12 games for the fifth time in school history. Eastern Washington broke records for scoring (647), touchdowns (86), rushing yards (3,839), rushing touchdowns (41), rushing yards per carry (6.62), rushing attempts (580), and passes broken up (70). The Eagles also earned a share of the league title.
Weber State (10-3) finished the 2018 campaign ranked No. 6 in both polls. The Wildcats advanced all the way to the FCS Playoff quarterfinals after earning a first-round bye for the first time ever. The Wildcats finished with 10-plus wins for the second straight season and won the Big Sky title in back-to-back seasons for the first time in school history. Weber State led all league schools with 13 First Team All-Big Sky honorees and 19 accolades total.
UC Davis (10-3) was voted No. 8 in the FCS STATS poll and No. 8 in the AFCA poll after posting its best record in school history as an FCS competitor. The Aggies earned a share of the conferment crown, advanced to the FCS Playoffs for the first time in school history and earned an at-large bid and a first-round bye. UC Davis won its second-round playoff game to advance to the quarterfinals backed by Eddie Robinson Award winner head coach Dan Hawkins.
Montana State was slotted No. 17 in both FCS polls. The Bobcats capped the season with an appearance in the FCS Playoff second round and an 8-5 overall mark. Montana State reached eight wins for the first time since 2014. Montana State led the Big Sky in fewest fumbles lost (four), fewest sacks allowed (0.85), and fewest tackles-for-loss allowed (4.08) per game.
Montana (6-5) received votes in the STATS FCS poll, while Idaho State (6-5) earned votes in the AFCA poll. Both teams entered the final week of the regular season with a chance at an at-large bid to the playoffs.
The Eagles (2nd), Weber State (6th), UC Davis (7th), and Montana State (16th) all were slated in the final Athlon Sports Power Poll.